When you are negotiating on the phone, don't forget your notes

When you are negotiating on the phone, don’t forget your notes
Image Credit: Saskia

Ah, the phone negotiation. This type of negotiation is just like negotiating face-to-face with all of the same negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, right? Umm, actually no, it isn’t. There are a lot of things that you and I know that we need to do when we are negotiating face-to-face that it can be all too easy to forget about when we are negotiating over the phone. Perhaps we should take just a moment and review two of these critical tasks.

Notes Are Your Friend When You Are Negotiating On The Phone

When you and I sit down across the table from the other side during a face-to-face negotiation, we have a very good understanding of just how complicated this negotiating business can be. What this means is that we generally do a very good job of taking notes. Detailed notes. However, for some mysterious reason when we get involved in a phone negotiation, we can forget to perform this critically important task.

When we are negotiating on the phone, note taking is at least as important if not more important as when we are negotiating face-to-face. What this means is that we need to make sure that as the various parts of the negotiation unfold including what was decided, where there were still disagreements, definitions, and new issues that popped up during the negotiation we need to remember to take notes. Taking great notes is critical, but then you also have to make sure that once the negotiation is done with that you file the notes that you took immediately so that they don’t get lost.

Even when we negotiate over the phone, a negotiation can consist of several phone calls. Because of this, we need to make sure that we date our notes in order to be able to keep them separated. Adding the name of the person or persons that we were talking with can also be a big help. If we ever have to refer to our notes, then the neater they are the easier this task will be.

Phone Negotiations Require A Follow-Up Email

Most phone negotiations end when we hang up the phone. However, what we need to realize is that is really just the midpoint in one of these negotiations. You and I need to take the time to document what just happened on the phone by sending the other side an email summarizing the issues that were discussed. This includes what was decided, what still needs to be worked out, and the deadlines that are associated with this negotiation.

One of the problems that we all face when we are dealing with a phone negotiation is that people tend to treat them fairly causally. This means that they may not take the time to remember what was discussed or what was agreed to. What this means for you is that taking the time to document what was discussed and sharing this with the other side is a critical part of making sure that you didn’t just waste your time on the phone.

One of the most powerful reasons for sending a follow-up email after conducting a negotiation on the phone is that very few people will object to what you tell them. The power of seeing negotiating notes written down is enough to get most people to agree with them no matter what you wrote. Sending a follow-up email can be a great way to deal with any contradictions that the other side may create later on or act as a reminder of important decisions that were reached.

What All Of This Means For You

Negotiating on the phone can be very different from negotiating face-to-face. Because we don’t have to get dressed up (or even take a shower for that matter), it is very easy for us to forget to do some of the critical tasks that need to be done in order to get the results that we want.

One critical task is to make sure that you take good notes when you are negotiating on the phone. All of the things that you would document during a face-to-face meeting need to be captured during a phone principled negotiation. Good notes will help you to remind the other side of what was agreed to during the negotiation. When the phone negotiation is over, you need to document the discussions and the agreements. The best way to go about doing this is to send the other side a follow-up email. Doing this will confirm your view of the outcome of the negotiation.

Every negotiation is a complex set of actions that we are required to perform in order to achieve the results that we want. When we find ourselves in a situation where we are negotiating on the phone instead of face-to-face, we need to remember what works for us when we are face-to-face: taking good notes and good follow up. If we can keep both of these tasks in mind, then our phone negotiations can be just as effective as our face-to-face negotiations.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: What’s the best way to keep your focus during a phone negotiation so that you’ll take good notes?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

One of the challenges that we all encounter when we negotiate on the phone is that this type of negotiation really does not leave much of a paper trail no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques were used. Oh sure, we might be able to point at our calendar after the call is over to show that it was scheduled to happen, but no papers were exchanged and there is really no proof that we talked. This means that what we do after the call is that much more important. This has got to include sending the right type of email to the other party.

{ 0 comments }

Phone negotiations require you to come prepared with everything that you'll need

Phone negotiations require you to come prepared with everything that you’ll need
Image Credit: amanda

One of the nice things about being an adult who engages in negotiations is that we are not required to know everything. A negotiation is not like an 8th grade history test where we’re going to be expected to regurgitate everything that we know about what products Brazil exports. We get to use notes. However, what notes we use and how we use them can determine how our next negotiation turns out.

Phone Negotiations Require You To Come Prepared

Phone negotiations are a bit different from a standard face-to-face negotiation. We all have a tendency to treat them just a bit more casually no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are going to be used. We get dressed up when we’re going to be sitting across the table from the other party, we don’t do the same when we’re going to be negotiating over the phone.

You know that when you are going to be negotiating on the phone, you need to be well organized. This means that you need to take the time before the call starts and make sure that you have everything ready and easy to get to. The good news about all of this is that there is a very good chance that the person that you are going to be negotiating with will not be as prepared as you are. They are probably going to be more casual about this negotiation than you are because it’s happening over the phone. This means that they will probably show up ill-prepared to negotiate with you.

The fact that there is a good chance that the other party will not be well prepared to negotiate with you over the phone is a good news for you. Any sort of negotiation that requires a lot of reference material is not a good candidate for a phone negotiation in the first place, but if it is going to happen, then you need every advantage that you can get. Take the time to make sure that you have your act together and when the negotiation starts, you’ll already have an advantage over the other side.

What It Means To Be Completely Prepared For A Phone Negotiation

If we agree that being prepared when the other side is not prepared can help to make the results of a telephone negotiation work out the way that we want them to, then the next thing that we need to do is to find out just exactly what we need to do. One of the most important things that you have to realize is that we’re not just talking about all of those pieces of paper that you’ll need.

Instead, what is really important is that you have taken the time to mentally think through what is going to be required of you during this negotiation. We’re not just talking about making sure that you have all of the paperwork that every negotiation requires. Instead, by anticipating everything that you may need you have taken the time to make sure that it will be available to you when you need it.

The simplest example of what we are talking about here is if this negotiation has a lot of numbers associated with it. At the very least, you are going to need to make sure that you have a good calculator. You may want to have a computer with spreadsheet or even go so far as to have a colleague who is good with numbers by your side. No matter what this negotiation is going to require, make sure that you’ve anticipated it and that you are ready when the call comes!

What All Of This Means For You

For some odd reason, the care and preparation that comes naturally to us when we are preparing to negotiate with someone face-to-face seems to fly out the window when we are involved in a phone principled negotiation. We should all realize that a phone negotiation requires the same level of organization as a face-to-face negotiation.

One of the most important things that we need to realize when are involved in a phone negotiation is that the other side of the negotiation more than likely has not done a good job of preparing for the negotiation. With this knowledge, you can be in control of the negotiation. Make sure that you’ve done your homework prior to the negotiation starting and you’ll have a significant advantage over the other side of the table.

Being prepared for a phone negotiation means more than having a big stack of paper in front of you when the call comes in. You also have to think about what will be covered in the negotiation before it starts. Making sure that everything that you’ll need is available to you when the call comes in is your responsibility. Get this taken care of and you’ll be set to get everything that you need out of your next phone negotiation.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to make sure that you’ve thought of everything that you’ll need to have for your next phone negotiation?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Ah, the phone negotiation. This type of negotiation is just like negotiating face-to-face with all of the same negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, right? Umm, actually no, it isn’t. There are a lot of things that you and I know that we need to do when we are negotiating face-to-face that it can be all too easy to forget about when we are negotiating over the phone. Perhaps we should take just a moment and review two of these critical tasks.

{ 0 comments }

Master A Phone Negotiation Using A Checklist

April 15, 2016

Can you picture yourself talking on the phone? If you are like me, it’s generally a scene of mass confusion. Sure I’m talking on the phone, but there is a very good chance that I’m doing a number of other things at the same time. These can include walking / running to get to some […]

Read the full article →

How To Manage A Negotiation Phone Call

April 8, 2016

Have you ever wondered how a negotiation that takes place on the phone starts? I guess the answer is pretty obvious – someone calls you. However, what a lot of us don’t realize is that when we receive this call, we are the ones in control – not the person who is calling us. You […]

Read the full article →

The Importance Of Listening Well When Negotiating On The Phone

April 1, 2016

These days we all spend so much time on the phone we really don’t give it another thought. However, perhaps we should. For you see, not only are we spending more and more time on the phone, but we have also started to include using the phone in our negotiations. Negotiating on the phone is […]

Read the full article →

You Can’t Negotiate What You Can’t See

March 18, 2016

We all know that we have 5 senses with which we take in what is happening around us (some of us may have 6 senses but that’s a different movie). Which one of these senses is the most important in terms of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to you during a negotiation? I’m pretty sure […]

Read the full article →

Negotiators Need To Learn How To Deal With Interruptions

March 11, 2016

Every negotiation has its own unique momentum. No matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used, things just seem to be moving along at a pace that suits that particular negotiation. Sometimes it will be fast and other times it will be slow. However, the one thing that you don’t want to happen […]

Read the full article →

Who Will Be Listening In On Your Next Negotiation?

March 4, 2016

In a typical negotiation you sit down at a table and the other side sits down across from you. You can see them, they can see you. All of the discussions that happen during the negotiation can be watched and listened to by everyone in the room. Often times, we’ll direct our conversation to different […]

Read the full article →

Why Phones Are A Bad Way To Conduct A Negotiation

February 25, 2016

I don’t like to use phones when I’m negotiating. There, I said it. In this day and age where Apple seems to come out with a new must-have phone almost every other week, it seems like blasphemy to say that you don’t like talking on the phone, but when it comes to negotiating I believe […]

Read the full article →

Traps Caused By Negotiating On The Telephone

February 19, 2016

Let’s face it – attempting to conduct a negotiation over the phone is really never a good idea. When we are negotiating face-to-face with someone, we are in control of the situation. We have our notes, we have our support staff, and we have the ability to look the other side of the table straight […]

Read the full article →