“Power is prevalent when two or more people agree that it’s real. Even then, power can be diminished if overwhelmed by nonbelievers. Always know your source and with whom you have power, to become more powerful.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
When negotiating, you can definitely win more negotiations by controlling your power better. No matter your size in comparison to the opposing negotiator’s resources, you can win more negotiations by what you do with your power. The reason that’s true is because, if you’re at the negotiation table, there’s some perceived value the other negotiator has of you. It’s that perceived value that’s causing her to negotiate with you.
If you’re a smaller entity, resource wise, and you’re negotiating with an entity that’s greater than you, understand why they’re doing so. Ask yourself, what do I possess that they want. Don’t pass off that question too lightly. The answer is revealing. It gives insight into your source of power. Once you substantiate it, you can adopt negotiation strategies to make yourself more powerful.
Observe the following:
- Timing – Power ebbs and flows in a negotiation. Seek to display your power in areas that the opposing negotiator lacks. As an example, if you possessed an ingredient that he needed to make his operation run more smoothly, you have a degree of power. If you discover that you’re the only one that can provide it, you have even more power. Therefore, you might consider closing the deal on terms that are favorable to you quickly. Be cautious about leaving him with the impression that you gouged him. You may be in a power position at that time, but with the passing of time, you may have competitors. Leave him with the impression that you were ‘there for him’ when he needed you. Then, let the law of reciprocity be your servant.
- Environment – The environment in which you negotiate plays an important role in the negotiation. There can be subtle signals in the environment that influence the perception of your power. Be mindful of how you feel about your self-worth and power in such situations. As an example, you’re led into an opulent suite adorned with fine art on the walls and a panoramic picturesque view of the towering skyline. Your mind starts to think, wow, I really want to be associated with this type of lifestyle. I’ll do whatever I have to do to close this deal. You acquiesce to every requested concession. Later, you discover that the environment was leased for the purpose of the negotiation. You gave your power away while negotiating and now you feel like you’ve been played (i.e. taken advantage of) L. Just remember, you shouldn’t feel that way. You were the one that gave your power away.
Power is perceptional and it’s flowing. Thus, what’s powerful in the moment may be powerless in the next moment. Strike mindfully when you sense you’re in a power position. Marshall that power to serve you in all of its glory. Since power changes and can do so at a moment’s notice, consider what using your power will do for you later in the negotiation. If you have a minimal amount of power, don’t use it inappropriately and all at once. There’s nothing worse than a toothless tiger attempting to act big and bad, only to be challenged and put down. It’s very difficult to regain and display power after that because you won’t be perceived as being as powerful. Remember that power is real or imaginary to the degree that it’s perceived as such. Make the other negotiation emotionally feel your power and you’ll be more powerful. That means, you’ll be better positioned to win more negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them. You can reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
Remember, you’re always negotiating!