Power Negotiating Tips Article by: Roger Dawson
ALWAYS MAKE THE SECOND EFFORT
Perhaps the other side is agreeing to your core proposal but is balking at the expensive extras. Understand what goes on in people’s minds when they make a decision. They fight the decision up to the point when they make it. Then their mind does a flip-flop, and they want to do things to reinforce the decision that they made earlier.
Danger Point: You’ve reached agreement on the core items, but you’re reluctant to make a second effort on the extras because you don’t want to lose the entire thing.
Solution: Wait until they’ve signed the contract and say, “Could we take another look at those extras. I don’t recommend it for everybody, but for you I really feel strongly that it’s the way for you to go.” Because their mind wants to reinforce their earlier decision, you have a good chance of their agreeing to reconsider.
TAPER DOWN THE SIZE OF YOUR CONCESSIONS
The size of your concessions can create a pattern of expectations in the other person’s mind. If each concession is bigger than the one you’ve made before, you encourage the other side to extend the negotiations.
Danger Point: Time pressure is building and you’re eager to reach agreement. Your concessions get bigger and bigger.
Solution: Start with a reasonable concession and then taper down the size of your concessions. If necessary, take a small concession off the table at the last moment.
POSITION FOR EASY ACCEPTANCE
Sometimes a negotiation will deadlock at the last moment. When a negotiation deadlocks like this, the ego of the other people probably got in the way. They want to accept your proposal, but they don’t want to feel that they lost to you as a negotiator. Position them for easy acceptance with a very small concession made just at the last moment.
Danger Point: You don’t realize it, but the other side bragged to their boss that they would get a large concession from you. Now they are not doing as well as they hoped, and they are reluctant to give in to you.
Solution: Save a small concession for the last moment. Tell them, “I can’t budge another dollar on the price, but go along with that and here’s what I’ll do. I’ll personally supervise the installation so that you’ll know it will go well.” Perhaps you had planned to do that anyway, but now you’ve been courteous enough to let them feel that they traded something off.
ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS
Gathering information is critical to conducting a successful negotiation. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. Even if they refuse to answer, you’re still gathering information by evaluating their reaction to being asked.
Danger Point: You’re only asking the questions that you think they will answer.
Solution: Ask the tough questions. Perhaps they will answer, because information that was confidential or privileged information is no longer so. But even if they don’t answer, you’re still gathering information.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE TO A NEGOTIATOR
The longer that you can keep the other side in a negotiation, the more chance you have of getting what you want. When you’re beginning to think that the other side will never come around to your point of view, think of the tiny tug boats that can move those huge ocean liners around â€” if they do it a little bit at a time.
Danger Point: The longer you are in a negotiation, the more likely you are to make concessions. Because your subconscious mind is saying to you, “I can’t walk away from this empty-handed after all the time I’ve spent on this.”
Solution: When faced with the temptation to make concessions to the other side, forget about what you have invested in getting to this point. You cannot recoup that, whatever you do. Your only consideration should be, “Is it smart to move forward from here?”