“How To Negotiate Better By Knowing What Value Is”
What do you know about value?
“… I’m so sorry for your inconvenience. I can upgrade you to a better room.” Those were the words spoken by a front desk person at a 5-star hotel. He was informing a guest of what he could do as the result of the patron experiencing a restless night. The patron’s restlessness was due to his loud neighbors in other rooms on the floor. The patron had begun calling the front desk around 12-midnight to complain. Throughout the night, he called several more times – all to no avail to squelch the noise that prevented him from sleeping. He thought to himself, and this yammering is ceaseless.
When he checked out of the hotel the next morning, he told the desk manager of his experience. The manager extended apologies on behalf of the hotel, stated that the night’s stay would be removed from the guest’s bill and asked if there was anything else that he could do. The patron said no. I appreciate the gestures you’ve made. Then he said, “all I wanted was a good night’s sleep. I have an important meeting today. And I just wanted to be fresh and well-rested.” As he left the hotel, he wondered if he’d ever stay at that location again.
Do you see the difference between how the front desk person and the desk manager addressed the situation? It’s slight. But it’s also powerful. The desk manager extended apologies, and he asked the guest if there was anything else that he could do. He was seeking the guest’s perspective of value. In other words, he wanted to know what was essential to the guest. If you don’t know what someone values, you don’t know what to offer them. That means you’re making blind offers when doing so in a negotiation.
When you negotiate, there are five factors to keep in mind about value.
People have a different perspective on what they value and why. Once you know their value perspective, seek to understand it.
Don’t assume because someone is like you that they’ll like you. Even when people have similar values, there will be nuances that separate their opinions about value. To assume you share exact ideals as your negotiation counterpart can lead to offers and counteroffers that are not valued. In a worst-case scenario, such offers can be damaging to your negotiation efforts.
When you’re unsure of a person’s value, ask what they’d least like to lose. The reply will indicate what is of most importance.
To test someone about their value, ask, “if there’s one thing that I could grant you in this negotiation, what would it be?” Once again, that person’s value proposition will reside in their response.
This last suggestion may fall into the red herring category. It entails discovering something you possess that’s of great value to the other negotiator. Entice that person to believe that he can acquire it but at a very high cost. The higher he’s willing to pay for the acquisition, the higher the value of possessing it will be. Be cautious when engaging this means of acquiring someone’s value perspective. If you don’t allow them to receive it after getting them to make substantial offers, they could become unwilling to grant you much after that. Then, the negotiation might hit a roadblock.
To become a better negotiator, you must always understand what is of value to your negotiation counterpart. Once you do, making better offers will be more comfortable – because you’ll know which offers possess the highest value … and everything will be right with the world.
“Negotiator Beware of The Hidden Danger In Free Value”
As a negotiator, what do you consider when you hear free? Do you think about the hidden danger that may lurk in something that’s free? Sure, there could be value in the offer, but you should also beware of the hidden danger in anything that’s free.
When you hear the word free, your brain goes into a sense of euphoria. The endorphins begin to flow at the thought of receiving something for nothing. In such a mindset, you can become susceptible to lowering your guard. Doing that can leave you vulnerable to unsuspecting ploys. That can occur even when you’ve planned how you’ll address such offers. When you find yourself in such quandaries, consider the following.
What’s the offer attempting to achieve:
People are motivated by their aspirations. Thus, during a negotiation when offers are extended, a goal is at the purpose of that offer. If you’re aware of that intent, you’ll be in a better position to assess its potential value. Offers are not equal. Don’t let one that appears to be free become too costly for you to accept. Examine it thoroughly.
What’s to be gained:
Sometimes, acquiring a concession in a negotiation can add value to your overall goals. If the concession appears not to contain a cost, its allure may become bewitching. Be cautious when such appears to be the case. Good negotiators accumulate chits that they can use at other points in the negotiation. Thus, while you’re receiving what appears to be free, what you’re really receiving could be an IOU.
The timing of the offer:
The timing of an offer can obscure hidden dangers. If the intent is to obtain a greater concession, a negotiator may seek smaller ones to build towards the larger one. Thus, in some cases, positioning may be the goal. That means, offering something for free may be the setup or cover up for something to come.
Always be aware of where a concession or request may lead. Since negotiations are the accumulations of gains and concessions, you don’t want to make a concession thinking that it will lead to more gains. Or, acquire gains that are too costly, compared to the concessions you make to acquire them.
What do you have to concede:
In every negotiation, good negotiators have red herrings to use as chits or diversions. They can serve as bartering pieces that don’t contain a burdensome cost to you, or as distracters from the real intent of your offer. In a best-case scenario, a red herring should be perceived as something of value that you possess that can be dangled as a sought-after desire that the other negotiator wants. The more he’d like to possess it, the greater its perceived value will be. Thus, if it doesn’t cost you anything to relinquish, you can heighten its appeal by feigning great concern to part with it. The point is, don’t weaken red herrings by relinquishing them too easily. Doing so will weaken your negotiation position.
There’s a cost associated with everything we acquire, even if it’s just the time that we invest. Because time itself has a cost. If you keep in mind that nothing’s free, you’ll maintain a more prepared mind to assess the hidden cost and hidden dangers that may be concealed in free offers. Doing so will make you a better negotiator … and everything will be right with the world.
“How To Uncover More Hidden Value Opportunities When Negotiating”
“Did you really want those bananas?” That was the question asked as one friend watched another negotiate the price of a lamp. “Yes, I wanted them”, was the reply. “I love bananas, especially when they’re free!”
Bananas can be a metaphor for anything you get as a bonus when negotiating.
Two friends were at a flee market. One saw a unique USB lamp. He asked the seller for the cost. The reply was $7. The friend offered $5. The seller said he paid more than that. So, the friend offered $6. The seller still said no. With that, the friend turned and began walking away. As he did, he spotted bananas. He turned and said, I’ll give you $7 for the lamp if you’ll give me seven bananas and the lamp. The seller said, okay. He gave the buyer the lamp, along with seven bananas, and that consummated the deal. That occurred even though the seller had the bananas listed at sixty cents each.
When you negotiate, do you note your real objective? In the situation above, the objective was not to get the lamp for less than $7, it was to maximize the purchasing power of the $7. The bananas added value to that purchasing power. That recognition helped the friend bring the deal to fruition.
When contemplating the objective of a negotiation, consider the hidden value that might provide added value to the outcome. That will afford you more flexibility in achieving your objective. It will also stave off possible impasses in the negotiation. Not only should you consider what you might seek as added value, you should consider the same for the other negotiator. Considering his perspective of added value will give you a possible bargaining chip to overcome a point of contention.
In part, you can entice the opposition to possess a red herring; a red herring would be something that you professed as having value. Feign extreme hardship at forgoing it, to give it added value. Offer it as a trade for what you’re seeking, or to help bridge the gulf between what the other negotiator seeks from the negotiation.
Know the Needs:
To employ the use of added value successfully, know what added value is. Per the way the other negotiator perceives it, obtain insights from conversations and her writings before the negotiation. Do that by acquiring foreknowledge from friends and associates of hers. For your own means, consider everything you might want from the negotiation and how obtaining it would add value to your outcome expectations. For either of you, that can be in the form of financial, prestige, or perceived as being fair. Whatever it is, know what it is and use it appropriately.
Before you set out to negotiate, consider the different ways you might enhance the negotiation. Consider the possibilities that might present themselves as an added value to the outcome. Some may be things that you don’t really want. Nevertheless, you can use them as chits to enhance the probability of getting more from every negotiation you’re in. By uncovering more hidden value opportunities when negotiating, you’ll enhance your negotiation position, power, and outcome … and everything will be right with the world.
“There’s Hidden Value In The ‘Nice Factor’ When Negotiating”
“I don’t know why I made those concessions. The other negotiator was so nice! Something made me want to be nice in return.” Unbeknownst to the speaker of those words, subliminally, he was affected by the nice factor.
Have you ever considered the hidden value of the nice factor when negotiating? Being nice is perceptional, depending on who you’re negotiating with. Nevertheless, it has a place at some point in every negotiation.
The following are ways you can deploy the settle ally of the nice factor to enrich your negotiation outcomes.
Negotiators set the tone for the negotiation at its outset. Note: The outset starts before you’re at the negotiation table. They may set a tone to suggest you should not take them lightly or one that implies they’ll go along to get along.
Some negotiators project a stern persona to convey the sentiment that they’re not to be dallied with; this persona can also be invoked to protect the veneer of insecurity. That’s worth mentioning because you should be watchful and asses if such a demeanor serves that purpose. That can uncover the personality type that you’re really dealing with.
In some cases, a stern type of projected positioning is advantageous. But, if you don’t consider the negotiation style of your negotiation counterpart, it can be the uncoupling of the negotiation before it starts. Thus, you should be mindful of the persona you project at the beginning stages and throughout a negotiation. You don’t want to turn the other negotiator into a more abstinent opponent if he’s not already one. If such occurs, attempt to mollify him by modifying your demeanor. Be nicer.
Soft negotiators will display their demeanor by presenting a broad smile upon meeting you and a handshake that is appropriate for the encounter (i.e. not too hard, not too soft). As you engage in the negotiation, assess to what degree this may be a façade. You can accomplish that by noting the slight changes in her personality when discussing points of disagreements. If she’s quick to placate you, make sure you let her win points, too. Doing that will enhance the nice factor.
Hard negotiators may present more of a challenge when attempting to invoke the nice factor. Depending on the degree of their hardness, moderate to obnoxious, the nice factor may not be appropriate. Instead, you may want to adopt a persona that matches the style of the other negotiator to get him to modify his demeanor. If he does, at that point you may consider implementing the nice factor. Depending on the severity of his modification, being nice can serve as his reward.
Most negotiators don’t like strong tensions in a negotiation. When tensions reach a certain level, negotiators tend to be more dogmatic about the positions they’ve adopted. So, if you find yourself in such a contention, consider employing the nice factor. This may be in the form of making a concession. If you’re not sure if doing that will ease tensions, preface your offer with an ‘if’ statement (e.g. If I do this, will you do ‘x’?). The point of using the nice factor at this point will be an attempt to reset the negotiation to a less pretentious position.
The more positive the experiential endowment you invoke within the other negotiator, the easier the flow of the negotiation will be. That will lend itself to an enhanced negotiation engagement, which in turn should lead to a greater negotiation outcome for you … and everything will be right with the world.
Life’s value-add is perceptional. Manage your expectations to better assess the sources from which value can be attracted to your life.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“The Value of Relationships – Long Versus Short”
Are the relationships you’re in adding or subtracting value from your life? It’s a serious question to ponder and one to reassess daily.
Too many times we wake up one morning and realize that we’re no longer living the ideal life we seek. Depending on the severity of that realization, we go into a state of panic, brought on by thoughts of uneasiness. You know when things aren’t right in your life! It’s usually a terse feeling that emanates from your gut that delivers the message. Then, you may appear to be erratic to those who know you, which may cause them to reevaluate the value you’re bringing to their life. That can set off a vicious cycle fraught with angst and anxiety. The question then becomes, what’s a person to do to maintain some sense of equilibrium in their life? The answer lies in the relationships you have with others.
If you find yourself in toxic relationships, at work, at home, etc., change them! Seek to alter the dynamics of the relationships that drag you down emotionally and/or physically. It may be difficult to do but consider the cost of your sanity, your wellbeing. Weigh the cost of that against the difficulty that change might require.
When engaging with people, consider the value you add to their life and they to yours. Some people will be with you for life (long-term) others for a season (short-term). Accept this mentally, understand it and don’t allow it to become a conundrum when it’s time to move on. Don’t get wrapped up thinking that you have to stay with people due to the time you’ve known them; such thoughts will make you sentimental, which will jade your emotions and thought process about moving on. There are others that want to add value to your life, but you won’t find them holding on to those that don’t.
When you know you’re in short-term environments, treat those in it as though they may become long-term associates. Doing so may turn them into long-term allies, but don’t become fixated on the thought that they’ll be with you through thick and thin. Having such a mindset will allow moving on to be less jerky. If someone stays in your life longer than what had been anticipated, because they were adding value, be thankful. You’ve been blessed … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
With some people, a negotiation may be transactional, not intended to be of long-term value. That’s okay. Knowing the parameters of this type of relationship allows you to be better positioned to engage in the negotiation. After all, when you negotiate, you never know who will truly fit into a long-term relationship until you examine their values. Evaluate such closely and from different perspectives. What you eventually find may not be what you initially saw, and what you initially saw may be something that you initially didn’t expect.
The point is, keep your emotions grounded in all of your relationships. Accept people for the value they add to your life, and the value you add to theirs.