Sometimes the little guy wins

Sometimes the little guy wins

Image Credit

When you enter into a negotiation, often times things don’t seem fair. Specifically, sometimes you view yourself as being “the little guy”. When this happens, it’s often easy to believe that you don’t stand a chance – no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques you use the other side is going to get what they want and that’s all there is to it. However, it turns out that you have a secret weapon that you can use – the deadlock.

Why Just Starting A Negotiation Works In Your Favor

When you find yourself in a negotiation going up against an opponent who is either much larger than you or, in your opinion, in a much stronger negotiating position than you are, it can be all too easy to just feel like giving up. It is very easy to convince yourself that the other side of the table has all of the advantages in a negotiation.

The key point for you to realize is that more often than not, they don’t. What you need to do is to take a step back and give the situation some thought. In order for the other side to even be at the table negotiating with you, a great number of things must have already occurred.

At a large company, in order to get permission to negotiate with you the other side of the table had to get a number of different levels of approval. That means that a lot of time and effort on their side has already gone into the negotiation before they even sit down to start talking with you.

This works to your advantage. The effort that the other side has gone to be allowed to participate in the negotiations meaning that they already have momentum. Once a big company starts to travel in a given direction, it can be almost impossible to get them to either stop or even change direction. All of this can work in your favor.

Why The Big Guys Fear A Deadlock

Once a negotiation with a big company has started, the one thing that the other side of the table does not want to happen is for a deadlock to occur. This is something that they are going to want to avoid at almost any cost.

The reason that a deadlock is something that a big company wants to avoid is because of what the other side of the table would have to do if a deadlock occurred. If a deadlock occurs, then the deal that the company’s senior management had given their approval for the other side of the table to enter into will have stalled.

This means that the people who work for the big company will have to once again reassemble all of the people who were involved in initially approving the negotiations and ask for their guidance as to what the next steps should be. People are now being prevented from doing other work and the deal is not moving forward.

Once you understand that this is the situation that the other side of the table is facing, you can use it to your advantage. Once you know that they will do almost anything to prevent the negotiations from grinding to a halt in deadlock, you can allow the negotiations to get close to deadlock and then ask for more concessions in order to keep things moving. In your next negotiation, give it a try and you just might be surprised at how much you can get from the other side!

What All Of This Means For You

Both sides are not equal in most negotiations. All too often we can find ourselves in a principled negotiation where the other side seems to be the bigger side and we’re “the little guy”. The good news is that we have a secret weapon that we can use when this happens.

A deadlock is a big deal in most negotiations and when you are negotiating with a larger more powerful party, it can be an even bigger deal. A deadlock is an inconvenience for you, but it can be a disaster for the other side of the table. You need to use the threat of a deadlock to motivate the other side to provide you with the concessions that you can’t get any other way.

Sometimes it pays to be the smaller, weaker party in a negotiation. Since you don’t fear reaching a deadlock as much as the other side does, you have more negotiating tools that can be used. Use this knowledge to turn the tables the next time that you find yourself in a negotiation with a “big guy”!

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

Question For You: Do you think that you’ll have to actually enter into a deadlock, or can you just threaten to have it happen?

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

All too often in a negotiation no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques you are using, when we encounter a deadlock we may want to just give up. After all, a deadlock sure looks like something that is going to prevent both sides from ever being able to successfully reach a deal. However, I’ve got some good news for you. It turns out that every deadlock can be broken; you just need to know how to go about doing it…

{ 0 comments }

You can use deadlocks to your advantage to get where you are going

You can use deadlocks to your advantage to get where you are going
Image Credit

Deadlocks are a part of negotiating just like speeding tickets are a part of driving. We don’t like them, but just like all of the other negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we have to deal with, they show up every so often and we just have to deal with them. The good news about deadlocks is that they are actually a valuable tool that negotiators can use to move a negotiation towards close and even get a better deal. Do I have your attention now?

Why Deadlocks Are Valuable Tools

As a negotiator, the more tools that you have going into a negotiation, the better you can expect your outcome to be. That’s why a deadlock should be viewed as what it really is – just another negotiating tool.

The reason that a deadlock can be so useful to you is what it can make happen. When a deadlock is looming in a negotiation, it can cause the other side of the table to display their position and at the same time freeze the negotiation. If they are really willing to allow the deadlock to happen and walk away from the negotiations, then their current position is a “hard” position.

If, on the other hand, they are operating under some constraints (like time) and not reaching a deal in the negotiation is not an option for them, then when they are facing the possibility of a deadlock occurring, they may be willing to give you compromises that they were not willing to give earlier in the negotiations.

How To Cause A Deadlock To Occur

Just as a deadlock is an important negotiating tool, how you cause a deadlock to occur is just as important. What you need to keep in mind is that the deadlock is not really the end of the negotiations. Rather it is just a stopping point. Your goal is to make sure that you’ll be able to restart the negotiations later on.

Whenever the negotiations reach a deadlock, put on your pleasant face. Inform the other side that you’re not going to be able to do what they are asking for. By doing this, you are leaving the door open to continue the negotiations later on.

Make sure that you never burn your bridges when you are dealing with a deadlock. Don’t tell the other side that since you’ve reached a deadlock, you’d never be willing to do a deal with them ever again. Instead, tell them to give you a call if anything changes. This will make it easy for both of you to restart the discussions.

What All Of This Means For You

All too often, negotiators fear a deadlock happening in their principled negotiation . In many cases, this is viewed as a failure on the part of the negotiator. It turns out that this is not the case. Deadlocks are just another negotiating tool that we have available to us.

As negotiators we need to learn how to use deadlocks to get what we want out of our next negotiation. When used properly, a deadlock can force the other side of the table to display their position and freeze the negotiations. Your strategy for implementing a deadlock must always be to remain pleasant and keep the door open so that we can break the deadlock when we need to.

In order to be able to walk away from your next negotiation with the deal that you want, you need to learn how to use deadlocks to your advantage. Take the time to study what we’ve talked about and you’ll go into your next negotiation with one more tool that you can use to get the best deal possible.

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

Question For You: If a deadlock happens, how long should you wait until you try to break it?

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

When you enter into a negotiation, often times things don’t seem fair. Specifically, sometimes you view yourself as being “the little guy”. When this happens, it’s often easy to believe that you don’t stand a chance – no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques you use the other side is going to get what they want and that’s all there is to it. However, it turns out that you have a secret weapon that you can use – the deadlock.

{ 0 comments }

5 Ways To Use A Deadlock To Your Advantage

August 15, 2014

In a negotiation, reaching a deadlock is something that we all fear, right? Everyone views a deadlock, which is when both sides can’t agree on something that is being discussed, as a form of failure. We don’t want to fail, so we use all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we know to […]

Read the full article →

The Power Of Parallel Negotiating Tracks

August 8, 2014

All too often in a negotiation we encounter a situation where no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we use, we are told to “take it or leave it”. This can be a big roadblock when it comes to finding a way to reach a deal with the other side. The good news is […]

Read the full article →

Planning Negotiations With Multiple Parties

August 1, 2014

Although we can spend a lot of time talking about the best negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to use during a negotiation, sometimes just getting the appropriate parties together can be the biggest challenge of all. We live in busy times and the more people that have to be involved in a negotiation, the more […]

Read the full article →

Negotiating With Iran: How Was A Deal Reached?

July 25, 2014

It is through negotiation that the impossible can be made possible no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used. A deal has been brokered between Iran and the rest of the world in regards to their work on creating an atomic bomb. For more than a decade Iran has been willing to […]

Read the full article →

The Power Of Delays In A Negotiation

July 18, 2014

We all hate delays, right? No matter if it is when we are in traffic, waiting in a line at a store, or waiting for the next web page to load, any sort of delay is a bad thing. Or is it? It turns out that in a negotiation, sometimes a delay can be a […]

Read the full article →

How To Use The Critical Path Tool In Your Next Negotiation

July 11, 2014

As negotiators we are always looking for a better way to conduct our next negotiation. What we’re looking for is are things like negotiation styles or negotiating techniques that we can use to gain the upper hand during the negotiation. It turns out that one of most powerful tools that we can use is something […]

Read the full article →

4 Ways That Negotiators Can Use A Deadline To Get What They Want

June 27, 2014

Life is filled with deadlines and negotiations are no different. What this means for us negotiators is that we need to find a way to make deadlines work for us, not against us. In order to make this happen, we need to know just a bit about how deadlines work and I know 4 ways […]

Read the full article →

3 Ways To Be A Pace Master In Your Next Negotiation

June 20, 2014

In your next negotiation, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used, there will be a pace at which the negation moves. One or the other side of the table will be controlling this pace. The big question is will it be you? If you can agree with me that it would […]

Read the full article →