Negotiation Tip of the Week
“Value is perceptional. Thus, unless you know what someone values, you don’t know what is valuable to them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“To Win More Negotiations Unlock Hidden Values”
To win more negotiations, you must be able to unlock the hidden values of the other negotiator. Unless you do that, you’re negotiating against a phantom; you don’t really know what you’re negotiating against or for.
Before engaging in a negotiation, consider the following thoughts to unlock the other negotiator’s hidden values. In so doing you’ll be able to negotiate more effectively, which will enhance your negotiation efforts.
Why it’s important to unlock someone’s hidden values:
Have you ever told someone how good a deal they were getting because they’d make/save more money, look better, feel stronger, etc.? All the while, they were thinking, none of that matters to me. While making your pronouncements, you were blowing it (i.e. getting farther from a deal than closer). Unless you’re playing to someone’s strong suit (i.e. unlocking their hidden values), you’re playing weakly.
Knowing someone’s value proposition allows you to be more targeted with your offers and counteroffers. It also allows you not to stray into territories whereby you might make an offer that’s detrimental to your negotiation position. In such a case, you might give away something for almost no return.
Points to consider:
Everyone doesn’t think like you nor do they think like some that you may assume they think like. Thus, you must understand, by asking, what is of importance to the other negotiator. Such questions can be positioned as:
- What would you like to come out of this negotiation with at minimum and maximum?
- What are you willing to forgo or give up to obtain the minimum and maximum that you’re seeking from the negotiation?
The answers to just the above 3 questions alone will give you a wealth of insight about the other negotiator’s hidden values.
What to be mindful of:
All negotiators will not readily expose their value system. They want to know yours first. That could create a challenge. If you experience that in your negotiation:
- Be mindful of the negotiator style/mindset that you’re dealing with. Some negotiators are very tough negotiators that don’t want to let you know what they value most in the negotiation. Their fear may stem from them thinking you might take advantage of them. If this is the case, assuage their fears by being open and above board. You can convey such sentiments through your words and add more meaning to them by exhibiting body language gestures that add value to your words (e.g. hands above the table, no large sweeping gestures that might indicate a grandiose perspective, speaking at the same pace and speed as the other negotiator, etc.)
- All negotiations are built on trust. Thus, the quicker you can establish trust, the more trusting both of you will be of the other. Therefore, always attempt to establish trust as quickly as you can in a negotiation by giving away as much of your position as the situation warrants. You can enhance the process by letting the other negotiator know the perils you’ll face if the negotiation is not successful. Just be cautious about what you disclose related to the impact it’ll have on your negotiation abilities going forward (i.e. don’t give too much information too soon).
We’ve all been trapped in negotiations that appeared to be headed for doom and realized that such was occurring because we were not addressing the other negotiator’s values. After reading this article, you’ll be better prepared to unlock the hidden values of the other negotiator. That will accelerate your negotiation win rate … and everything will be right with the world.
What are your takeaways? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
Remember, you’re always negotiating.