To Succeed When Negotiating Know When To Stop

Many times when I impart negotiation knowledge in trainings, presentations, and keynotes, the question is posed, how does one know when to stop negotiating?

It’s an easy question to answer, but the answer requires dealing with difficult questions to get there.

Prior to the negotiation, you should create a bracket that encompasses the high and low points in which your negotiation efforts might meet, to gain the outcome you seek. Also, take into account other aspects that you deem to be a must have for your efforts to be successful. Once you have those variables in place and you’re at the negotiation table, you’ll have the signals that indicate when to stop negotiating. The only points you then have to address are, how close you are to either extreme of your bracket during the negotiation. The following are ways by which you can gain insight into when to stop.

  1.   Be Observant. Watch your and the body language of the other negotiator.

a.)  Be cognizant of the body language (nonverbal) signals you send to the other negotiator during the negotiation. If your body language misrepresents the intent of your verbiage, the other negotiator will be confused by the message you send.

b.)  Observe how the other negotiator repositions his body throughout the negotiation (His body language will display discomfort or agreement. It behooves you to know the difference.)

     2.    Consider where you are emotionally in the negotiation. Be kinesthetic:

a.)  Try to feel the environment in which you’re negotiating from a kinesthetic perspective. Do so not only to attest to how you feel about what’s occurring in the negotiation, but also from the point of how it’s making you react. If you feel tired, sluggish, or lack-luster and you’ve achieved a level of satisfaction in the negotiation that you can live with, consider concluding the negotiation and accept the gains you’ve achieved.

b.)  Make the same assessment mentioned in ‘A’ of the other negotiator’s perspective and the outcome she’d be happy with.

    3.    Pay attention to tactics.

a.)  Lead the negotiation by directing its flow until you’re challenged. When you get close to the other negotiator’s discomfort zone, he’ll display his uneasiness. Observe his annoyance and determine the direction in which you’ll take the negotiation at that time, based on where you are in your bracket.

b.)  The other negotiator will give tells as to when he’s experiencing discomfort that’s due to you reaching the outer limits of the range of his bracket. Observe the change in tactics that he employs as you get closer to that range and act accordingly. You’ll gain insight as to how close you are to this continuum if the tactics become more drastic and radical from what has been established as the norm.

Knowing when to conclude a negotiation is paramount to the successful outcome of any negotiation. Negotiate too long and you run the risk of losing gains you’ve acquired. If you don’t negotiate long enough, you run the risk of not acquiring all that you could have gained from the negotiation.

There’s a negotiation tsunami coming. Prepare to defend yourself and enhance your future opportunities. You can do so by increasing your negotiation skills and everything will be right with the world. Now, it’s time to stop. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

“When negotiating, one of the most important ingredients of success is knowing when to stop pursuing success.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator

  The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • Too many times, people lose what they’ve gained in a negotiation by not knowing when to quit. Always remember to set your expectations for the outcome of the negotiation and create brackets that signal as to when the time to consider stopping is at hand.
  • Tactics are ever changing in a negotiation. Thus, the more tactics you can use and defend against, the better negotiator you’ll become.
  • Realize you will not win every negotiation. As such, sometimes you have to come up short and lose in a negotiation in order to learn how to succeed and win when negotiating. Recognize when you’re in a winning negotiation position and guard it against loss.
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