How do you seek to gain and use influence in your negotiations? Influence is a profound factor that, well, influences the outcome of the negotiation. Thus, when influence is garnered and used appropriately, you’ll have more winning negotiations.
The following are insights that will allow you to win more negotiations as the result of the leverage you’ll gain through the usage of influence.
Foundation of Influence:
The foundation of influence is established when the person you’re negotiating with senses that you possess traits that he’s enamored with. Those traits can be in the form of admiration of your accomplishments, your stature in life, and/or his need to associate with you for self-gaining purposes. Negotiation Tip: Always assess the level of influence you have with the other negotiator before engaging in the negotiation.
In general, most people want to be fair when dealing with others. In a negotiation the degree of fairness that one engages in is dependent upon what one feels he’s gaining from the negotiation. Ingratiating yourself to the other negotiator by conceding to points that he perceives as beneficial to his position is one way to appear fair and subliminally invoking reciprocity. To that end, he should reciprocate by acquiescing to your requests. If he doesn’t over a period of time, your level of influence is nonexistent. Change tactics.
Commitment and Consistency:
One way to bedevil a negotiation is to lack consistency. While this can be a tactic to keep the other negotiator ‘on his toes’, for the most part it causes a lack of trust and becomes an impediment to progressing the negotiation expeditiously. Being consistent in a negotiation projects the image of commitment, which enhances the perception of your influence. Even if you’re consistently tough, your influence might be perceived in the form of, “he’s a tough negotiator, but he’s consistent. I admire that in him.”
Social proof can serve as reassurance that you’re the type of negotiator that’s aligned with the core values of the other negotiator. The value of social proof as an influence enhancer can be achieved by allowing your reputation to precede you in the negotiation. This can be accomplished by strategically placing testimonials, articles you’ve written, and accolades you’ve received from sources your negotiation counterpart places value in. By doing so, you increase your influence before getting to the negotiation table. Then, at the negotiation table stoke the perception of your social proof to enhance your influence.
To the degree you’re liked by the other negotiator, he’ll ascribe a level of influence to you. Likeability can also be a daunting variable that fluctuates when you have to switch to a persona that may be perceived as too stringent. Thus, likeability has to be cultivated to enhance your influence.
Authority is seen in the manner by which someone views you. They can ascribe such prominence to you based on your station in life, perceived accomplishments, and the goodwill you’ve generated related to other admiring aspects/attributes. In most cases, the more authority someone grants you, the greater the influence that will accommodate that ascription. Thus again, position yourself appropriately to cast the image that suits you best to gain influence.
Scarcity is a variable that can wreak havoc in a negotiation. The reason being, if you misstate the degree of what’s being negotiated, your level of influence might plummet. In doing so, the perception of your influence may hit a low from which it cannot recover. Be judicious when using scarcity as a source of motivation in a negotiation and consider the impact it might have on your perceived influence.
When used appropriately, influence can be the silent partner that enriches your negotiation efforts. Use it wisely and you will win more negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!