“A thoughtless mind will betray its owner. Be thoughtful of what you’ll do before entering into a negotiation and you’ll be less likely to be betrayed by your thoughts.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Experts
“Use Preemptive Framing To Absolutely Win More Negotiations”
Framing in a negotiation is the process of highlighting what will be discussed during the negotiation. Preemptive framing in a negotiation is the process incurred to better position yourself to frame the negotiation; it’s attempting to frame the points of discussion that you’d like to be addressed prior to the opposing negotiator doing so. Just as a point of reference, preemptive framing can also occur any time prior to a negotiation.
The reason preemptive framing is so important in the negotiation process, if done right, is due to the fact that it will position you and your agenda to be viewed in a more favorable light than what otherwise might have been the case.
Given the importance of preemptive framing, how can you employ it in your negotiations to win more negotiations?
- Divert attention – In a negotiation, when a subject or point is being discussed that doesn’t serve you, it’s better to divert that discussion to one that’s more aligned with your goals for the negotiation. Preemptive framing will give you insight per what the other negotiator has in mind as related to his goals for the negotiation. Thus, through preemptive framing, you have the opportunity of disallowing a discussion before it would get to that point.
- Misdirection – Preemptive framing can be used to misdirect the intentions you plan to pursue in a negotiation. It differs from diverting attention from a point in the sense that it can be employed as a red herring (i.e. used as bait to gain greater insight/concessions, etc.)
- Trial Balloon – Per gathering greater insight about the intent of the other negotiator, preemptive framing can also be a good tool to use to see what he may or may not let you get away with in the negotiation. If you make what you might perceive as an outrageous demand before even allowing the negotiation to begin and he accepts it, you might surmise that he’s in a weaker negotiation position than you may have initially thought. Just be aware that he may be granting such a concession as his way to draw you into the negotiation without really planning to honor your point. If that’s the case, be prepared to implement an exit strategy; you’re dealing with a negotiator that may be savvier than you thought.
When we frame something, we bring attention to what’s in the frame. Thus, the way we frame a position will determine how much attention is given to it and how such will be thought of. Depending on the perspective you wish to convey via your framing efforts, you don’t have to tell someone how to think, but you’ll be guiding them per what to think about. That’s why framing is important in a negotiation. Preemptive framing allows you to shape the points of focus upon which the negotiation will occur before the framing process occurs.
Where you start in a negotiation determines where you may end. By using preemptive framing techniques, you’ll enrich the possibility of winning more negotiations. Thus, the better you become at utilizing preemptive framing techniques the greater the probability will become that you’ll come out ahead in more of your negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!