Successful negotiators always seem to be able to get the deal that they want

Successful negotiators always seem to be able to get the deal that they want
Image Credit: Search Engine People Blog

If there is one thing that I think that we’d all like to have then it is to be thought of as a ″successful negotiator″. We know that this is a good thing, but I’m not sure if we can tell someone what it means with 100% clarity. Is it based on negotiation styles and negotiating techniques? Clearly successful negotiators are able to get the deals that they want; however, it’s more than that – just exactly how do they go about getting those deals in the first place?

How A Successful Negotiator Represents Themselves

These negotiations that we find ourselves involved in can very quickly become complicated. If we’re not careful, the other side of the table or even ourselves may become lost and confused. That’s why successful negotiators are such good communicators. They know how to take a complicated idea and then express it in simple terms that everyone can understand. They know how to frame the issues being discussed so that everyone’s choices are clear cut.

A negotiation can end one of two very different ways: an agreement can be reached or both parties can choose to walk away. Which way things are going to go is often up in the air for most of the negotiation and either option could still be selected. That’s why successful negotiators come to every negotiation that they are involved in with a sense of optimism and a hopefulness about the future. They believe that a deal can be reached and they are willing to do whatever it’s going to take in order to make it happen.

We all know that who we are negotiating with can have a big impact on how the negotiation turns out. If we fear the other side of the table or we are intimidated by them, then we are going to be much more hesitant to make concessions and the negotiation is going to go a lot slower. That’s why successful negotiators know how to represent themselves as being the embodiment of regular folk – people that we all already know. By doing this they make us feel comfortable negotiating with them.

The Manner Of A Successful Negotiator

How would you feel if you were sitting across the table from the best negotiator in the whole world? I can tell you that I would be feeling just a little bit intimidated. How would you feel if the negotiator that you just sat down with started the negotiation out by telling about all of the big deals that he or she had successfully negotiated? Once again, that’s not going to make you feel very good. Both of these examples clearly show why successful negotiators take a different approach. They arrive at the negotiation with a congenial, humble, and unaffected way. You feel as though you already know them and you are comfortable negotiating with them.

Every negotiation is a stressful encounter. They have goals, you have goals, and somehow you are going to have to see if there is any way that both of your goals can be modified so that you can create a deal that both of you can live with. Successful negotiators are well aware of the stress and tension that is associated with every negotiation. That’s why they use self-deprecating humor in order to make themselves come across as being more human and to make fun of themselves.

Finally, how a negotiation gets started can often have a big impact on what the final result is. A lot of negotiators like to start each negotiation with their guns blazing – they’re going to show the other side who’s boss in this negotiation and they won’t be taking ″no″ for an answer. That’s all well and good, but it’s clearly not going to be putting anyone in the mood to reach a deal with you quickly. Instead, what the successful negotiators do is to start all of their negotiations in a cooperative fashion. The goal is to try to convey to the other side empathy with them and their situation while at the same time showing some calculated incompetence so that the other side starts to feel as though they have the upper hand.

What All Of This Means For You

In this game that we call negotiating, we want to do everything that we can in order to make sure that we are spending our time wisely. If this was a perfect world, we’d all be known as being successful negotiators who were always able to successfully close the deal. However, before we can become that, we first need to understand just exactly what it really means to be a successful negotiator.

It turns out that successful negotiators are great communicators. They have the ability to take complex ideas and express them in simple terms that frame the issues so that it’s always clear what choices people are dealing with. Successful negotiators go into a principled negotiation believing that they are going to be successful – they’ll be able to reach a deal with the other side. Instead of trying to intimidate the other negotiators, a successful negotiator tries to be seen as a regular guy or gal. It’s the congenial and humble manner of the successful negotiator that makes them approachable and their use of self-depreciating humor helps to humanize them.

We all want to become successful negotiators. Clearly there are a lot of different characteristics that define this type of negotiator. Although I think that we now have a fairly good understanding of what a successful negotiator looks like, how we can acquire these characteristics may be a bit tougher to do. The good news is that we don’t have to pick them up all at once, instead we can work on gaining them one by one. If we keep at this long enough, there is a chance that one day we’ll be viewed as being a successful negotiator.

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

Question For You: Do you think that it is useful to remain optimistic even when a negotiation is falling apart?

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

If you were to ask professional negotiators what they really don’t like to happen during a negotiation, I’m pretty sure that they’d tell you that they don’t like surprises. When we enter into a negotiation, we have plans and we believe that we know how things are going to unfold in terms of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. When surprises happen this can throw all of our carefully laid plans into disarray. However, is it possible that surprise could be yet another type of negotiating tool?

{ 0 comments }

The #1 Way To Start A Negotiation

by drjim on November 18, 2016

How you start a negotiation can determine how it will end

How you start a negotiation can determine how it will end
Image Credit: Wesley Lelieveld

Whenever we sit down across the table from the other party, the big question that hangs in the air is just exactly how should we go about starting this negotiation? There are almost a countless number of possibilities here. However, if we want to be able to reach the deal that we desire with the other side, then we’re going to have to be smart enough to start things out the right way. But what is the right way?

The Correct Way To Start A Negotiation

So let’s give this some thought, what would be the best way to start a negotiation? There are a lot of tough ways that we can start things out: make some demands, pound on the table, raise our voices, etc. However, I’m going to suggest that there is a better way. I think that you should start out every negotiation in a cooperative fashion. What this means is that you come across as being a nice person and you exhibit a congenial, low-key façade of very carefully calculated incompetence. Yep, you heard me right!

Here’s why this approach has worked out for me. One of the most powerful reasons for having you start out by being cooperative is that there is a possibility that by doing this, the other side will decide to also start out being cooperative. The fancy term for this kind of behavior is “reciprocity” which simply means that they’ll feel that they owe you for being so nice to them.

I’d like to be able to tell you that this is going to work with everyone that you sit down to negotiate with. However, that’s not going to be the case. When you are negotiating with a real hard case who can’t be bothered to be nice to you, then they are going to be thrilled to be negotiating with you because they will see you as being weak. Your soft style and pleasant, easy-going nature sends a clear signal of “push over” to them. They will probably charge into the negotiations, become hostile, and try to wrap things up quickly. However, in order to stay in control all that you have to do is to slow things down and make sure that you don’t react to what they are doing in the way that they expect you to.

It’s All About Flow

Whenever we come up against a tough negotiator we all know that we have two natural responses: fight or flight. We can meet them on their own terms and battle it out or we can pack our things up and leave. However, there is good news here. It turns out that we all have a third option that often we may not be aware of. This option is to flow.

What you need do when the other side gets tough with you is to lighten up and have a conversation with yourself. What you are going to be wanting to tell yourself is that what you are currently engaged in is a game and that right now it’s show time. When the other side pulls a stunt with you and attempts to force you to do something that you really don’t want to do, tell them that you are impressed with their style and ask them to do it again, just slower this time. This will shut them up.

What you always need to keep in mind is that as things are progressing in your negotiation, time is also passing. This means that the other side of the table is becoming more and more invested in the outcome of the negotiations. What this means for you is that it is becoming harder and harder for the other side to divest themselves of the negotiations because of what they have invested in it. When they start to realize that their confrontational approach is going to prevent them from being able to reach a deal, what you are going to see is their behavior become modified to become more agreeable.

What All Of This Means For You

I’m pretty sure that most of us have heard this before, but we probably can’t hear it too many times: it’s how you start out a principled negotiation that can determine how the negotiation ends up. When we’re starting out we’ve got a wide range of different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we can choose from. However, it turns out that there is one technique that will serve us the best: starting out every negotiation in a cooperative fashion.

You might push back at this idea – don’t the best negotiators always go in guns blazing? It turns out that the answer to that question is no. Instead, what you are going to want to do is to start off being nice because there is a possibility that you might be able to convince the other side to be nice also. If they decide that they want to be a bully, then you being nice will allow you to slow things down and treat the negotiation like a game. Ultimately, they’ll understand that their aggressive tactics are not going to work and they’ll end up changing their ways.

One of the challenges of trying to be nice during a negotiation is that it seems to go against our basic ″fight or flight″ mechanism. It does take effort. However, I speak from experience when I tell you that this is a powerful technique and that if you use it, your chances of getting the deal that you want out of your next negotiation just increased dramatically.

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

Question For You: if the other side demands that you make a snap decision, what is the best way for a nice person to respond to a request like this?

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

If there is one thing that I think that we’d all like to have then it is to be thought of as a ″successful negotiator″. We know that this is a good thing, but I’m not sure if we can tell someone what it means with 100% clarity. Is it based on negotiation styles and negotiating techniques? Clearly successful negotiators are able to get the deals that they want; however, it’s more than that – just exactly how do they go about getting those deals in the first place?

{ 0 comments }

When You Are Negotiating, It’s Really All About Style

November 11, 2016

When we start a negotiation, we want things to go our way. The big question that we all wrestle with is just exactly how to make this happen? I believe that a lot of what determines how your next negotiation is going to turn out has to do with how the other side views you. […]

Read the full article →

Tips For Negotiating With Someone Who Is In A Stronger Position Than You

November 4, 2016

I am always up for a fair fight. No matter if I’m watching a UFC match on TV or if I’m getting ready to go into my next negotiation, as long as the opponents are evenly matched, it’s really anyone’s fight no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are used. However, as I’m sure […]

Read the full article →

How To Negotiate With People Who Are Not Very Nice

October 28, 2016

I dream of the day that I get to pick who I have to negotiate with. I know the type of person that I want to spend time with: they are smart, know the topic, and are committed to reaching a deal with me. As of yet I have not reached the stage in life […]

Read the full article →

The Worst Person To Negotiate For You Is – You!

October 21, 2016

One of the most fundamental questions about any negotiation that has to be answered is who should be running the show? If you ask most of us, we’d tell you that it’s the person who is ultimately in charge – the big man (or woman). It turns out that this is the wrong answer. We […]

Read the full article →

How To Buy Yourself More Time During A Negotiation

October 14, 2016

Any negotiation can be a fast paced affair. The other side uses different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to start to throw ideas and proposals at us one after another and we very quickly feel ourselves becoming overwhelmed. In order to prevent you from making a negotiating mistake, we need to come up with a […]

Read the full article →

Using Concessions To Get The Deal That You Want

October 7, 2016

When we enter a negotiation, all too often we are thinking about what we want to get no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are used. Perhaps what we really should be thinking about is what we are going to be willing to give. What we need to remember is that a negotiation always […]

Read the full article →

The Power Of Knowing When To Ask For Help During A Negotiation

September 30, 2016

As negotiators we like to think of ourselves as being “all knowing” and “invincible”. In fact, we’d really like the other side of the table to view us in that way no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used. However, the reality is that we really don’t know everything. In fact, not […]

Read the full article →

Why Playing Dumb Is The Right Thing To Do In A Negotiation

September 23, 2016

I don’t know about you, but I like it when I’m able to impress other people with just how smart I am. I like to show them that I’ve researched the issues that we’re negotiating and that I have a lot of experience in this area. However, it turns out that this might be the […]

Read the full article →