“This Is How To Be Better at Negotiations With Bots” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Chatbots/bots can add value to negotiations. But, they only add value to the degree of the humans that create them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“This Is How To Be Better at Negotiations With Bots”

People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.

As negotiations become more intricate, smart negotiators are finding value in incorporating bots into the negotiation process. And while some bots can differ in their purpose, chatbots, as they’re also known, are tools that more negotiators have begun using in their negotiations. The following information will give you insight into bots and how you might apply them in your negotiating sessions.

Bot Set-up

Depending on the complexity of the bot you create, it can be easy to develop and incorporate, or it can be more complicated. The factor to consider is how much time it will save, once it’s working as planned. To that end, the enhancement of your negotiation is a crucial factor to consider because that’s how you’ll assess a bot’s benefits.

Positioning

Bots can shape the opinions the opposing negotiator has of you before the negotiation begins. That means a bot can cast you as a no-nonsense type negotiator, or one that’s amenable to going along to get along. Plus, pundits are speculating that social media platforms will soon allow its users to join bot conversations. When that occurs, your usage of bots for positioning will increase because bots will have the capability of inviting more people to join its chats. Then, you’d have more leverage in swaying the opinions of those that oppose you.  

The point is, by using bots to position yourself before the beginning of your negotiations, and to do so without much human interaction, will save you time and effort. That additional time and effort is time you can apply to create a strategy you’ll employ in the negotiation. And that will enhance those efforts.  

Stress Reducer

When you’re in negotiations, what transpiring events cause stress? Depending on the talks and what you’re discussing at different points in the negotiations, your answer will vary. And therein lies another point of usage for a bot.

Once you identify where potential tension points might occur, consider how you’d employ a bot to eradicate them before they happen. To do that, assume where issues of potential disruption might materialize. From there, assess how a bot might address that situation. If you consider the many choke points that can impede the progress of a negotiation, you’ll readily see how you might use a bot to relieve those tension points. The only drawback is your imagination.

Versatile Usage

Set-up

The initial negotiation bot set-up time can be minimal. The variable is dependant on the factors you want a bot to address. And once you created an initial bot, its components can be used to increase its efficiency. Then, moving forward, based on what you encountered in your negotiations and what modifications were required, you can reuse components to enhance its viability.    

Negotiation Phases

While you can use bots at different points in a negotiation, their application may be more beneficial, based on the circumstances you anticipate encountering.

Opening – As has been stated, you can use bots in the opening phase of negotiations to position your goals so they’ll be received more favorably. Bots can also be used to set-up the next stages of the talks.  

Middle – During this phase of negotiations, you can use bots to refer back to agreements made to that point, along with the promises of what’s to come. The beauty of using bots in this manner is, once again, it’s a robotic type of device that’s communicating with the other negotiator. Thus, your bot may not appear as threatening or formidable. Also, it may pry information out of the other negotiator – information that may have been more difficult for you to extract through human interaction between you and your opposition.

Closing – In this phase of the negotiation, a bot might be used to summarize the agreement, highlight pending actions and timeframes, and probe as to any potential problems that might lurk in the wings of the negotiation outcome.

In the preceding examples, you can use bots to address what-if scenarios, along with the implementation of positioning strategies to progress the negotiation in a more favorable direction. Therefore, your bot should have a context that moves the negotiation process forward, along with a hint of uniqueness. That means it should interact as if it was a human. That will make the capabilities of the usage of a bot unlimited.

Bot’s Acceptance Challenges

Some people may not be ready to interact with bots. They may find them to be too inhuman or lack the individuality that a human perspective offers. That will be a challenge for you if you’re negotiating with someone that has those beliefs. If that’s the case, I suggest you address such challenges from two possible positions with the other negotiator.  

1. Sell the other negotiator on the benefits he’ll receive from interacting with your bot’s chats. Do that by tieing the usage and acceptance of your bot interaction to the outcome he seeks for the negotiation.

2. Discontinue, or don’t use bots at all, while slowing down the negotiation process. If the other negotiator comments on the lack of progress, remind him that you injected the bot into the negotiation process to keep the pace moving. Then, ask if he’d like to reinstitute its usage.

Regardless of his response, at minimum, you will have placed the thought of a bot’s value in his mind. And that will most likely create a better impression of him using one in your future negotiations.  

Reflection

Bots may not be the end-all for your negotiations right now. But understand the principal and logic of using bots in your negotiation. They can add value to your negotiation efforts. And they will become more prominent in negotiations over time.

The question to ask is how and when you’ll use bots in your negotiations, not if you’ll use them. Bots are becoming more prevalent in our everyday life, which means more people are becoming familiar with their ease of use. Accordingly, their assimilation into our daily activities has already begun. And they’re being realized and accepted as a value-add to our routines. Plus, if you use bots strategically in your negotiations, you’ll gain advantages that otherwise may have gone unrecognized. That will give you an edge in all of your negotiation efforts in which you employ bots. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight” click here https://themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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