Sometimes you need to woo the other side

Sometimes you need to woo the other side
Image Credit: Boris Baldinger

It pretty much goes without saying that our goal in any negotiation is to find a way to convince the other side of the table to do what we want them to do. During a negotiation we may try to use different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, but in the end what we really need to do is to find a way to win the other side over. One technique that we can use to make this happen is called wooing.

Just Exactly What Is Wooing?

If you are going to understand what wooing is, then you are going to have to first understand just exactly what the difference between want and need is. When we are engaged in a negotiation, what we would like to be able to do is to find a way to communicate to the other side of the table that we want to do business with them.

We don’t want to show any desperation, just desire to do business. It is entirely possible that we may forget to do this wooing thing when we are engaged in a negotiation. Our company may be the biggest player in the market or we may be the sole source provider for the other side of the table, there are a lot of different things that can put us into a powerful position. When this happens, we may make the mistake of assuming that we don’t need to let the other side know that we really do want their business.

This is a mistake because even in these situations you need to clearly communicate that you want to do business with the other side. Keep in mind that what may be making you strong and powerful today may go away in the future and yet you’d still like to do business with the other side even then.

When Should You Woo?

One of the questions that we need to ask ourselves is just exactly how we should go about using this wooing thing. If we find ourselves in a position where we are the dominate company, then we need to take a step back and have a conversation with the other side. We need to come out and tell them that we really do want to do business with them. The current business situation may make it hard for us to offer them a deal or give in to any of their requests, but this should not be taken as unwillingness on our part.

One way that we can woo the other side of the table is to show them that we are willing to work for their business. When the other side can see that we are really making an effort for them either by taking time to create a great presentation, or going back to our boss to argue for their cause, they will start to feel on a personal level that we are committed to working with them. It’s going to be a lot harder for them to tell us “no”.

The power of wooing comes from the fact that if we show the other side that we are wooing them, then they will be motivated to go along with our ideas. No, they may not think that the proposals that we have made to them are the best and there may even be another company who has made a better proposal, but because we wooed them – took the time to make the extra effort, they just might choose us. That’s the true power of wooing.

What All Of This Means For You

During a principled negotiation we may be up against other company’s or other firms that may have better products to offer than we do. If we want to get the deal, then we need to convince the other side of the table to choose us. One way to go about making this happen is to woo them.

Wooing deals with the difference between want and need. Our obligation is to show the other side that we want to do business with them (we may need to do business with them, but we should hide that from them). Even if our company is the dominate company in a given field, we need to take the time to let the other side know that we want to do business with them because things can always change. In order to woo the other side, we can accomplish this by showing them that we are willing to do extra work to make a deal happen. When they see this, they will be motivated to select us over all other firms.

In any negotiation, our goal is to be able to walk away with a deal that we can live with. In order to get the other side to agree to the deal that we want, we need to practice the art of wooing. If we can master this, then the other side will be left with an understanding that we really want to do business with them and they will then feel more motivated to go along with what we have proposed.

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

Question For You: When do you think that wooing should start – before the negotiations start?

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

A quick show of hands please: who among us likes taking risks? Hmm, not very many hands are up. That’s pretty much par for the course. However, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used, risk plays a big part in every negotiation that we take part in. In fact, risk is a critical part of each negotiation. One definition of negotiation states that it consists of three things: looking at what is desired, discovering the other side’s position, and taking risks. During a negotiation, if you are more willing to take risks than the other side is, then you have an advantage.

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In order to get the deal that you want, it's going to take commitment

In order to get the deal that you want, it’s going to take commitment
Image Credit: Fouquier ॐ

As negotiators we understand that a great deal of what it takes to be successful in a negotiation resides in our head. How we view the negotiation, how we view the other side of the table, etc. are all key parts to what kind of deal we can expect to walk away with. However, there is one critical thing that we can all too easily overlook if we are not careful. This thing is commitment and just how much of it we have can make all the difference in what kind of deal we’ll be able to secure.

Commitment To Your Company

You would think that as negotiators we have all mastered the art of wearing a “poker face” during a negotiation. How we feel on the inside is something that we should be able to hide from the outside world. However, it turns out that this is not the case. When you walk into your next negotiation you have to believe in the company that you are working for.

It is critical that you believe that your product or service is the best, that your people are the smartest, and the way that you stand behind your negotiating promises is unmatched. If you have this kind of commitment then you will have a powerful force on your side and that can only help you to get better deals and to get them faster.

Commitment From People On The Other Side

One of the things that is all too easy to overlook while you are in the heat of a negotiation is that there may be a number of different decision makes that can influence the other side of the table. Sure, there are the people sitting at the table, but there may be many more people behind the scenes.

As a negotiator you need to realize this. If you can get commitment from people who work for the company or organization that you are negotiating with, then you will have strengthened your position. Getting this kind of commitment takes both a great deal of legwork and time. You’ll need to get everything lined up before the negotiations start, but if you do then the other side will have almost no other option then to agree to work with you and the deal that you’ve proposed to them.

Personal Commitment

Like it or not, negotiating is a very intimate undertaking. You sit at a table with the other side and the two of you try to get the other to see the world the way that you do. There is no way that you are going to be able to make this happen unless you develop a deep understanding of just exactly who you are talking to and what they want to get out of this negotiation.

There are a lot of ways to develop this level of personal commitment from the other side. A lot of it has to do with spending time with them outside of negotiating. This allows the two of you to not have to worry about negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. As each of you get to know each other better, you’ll be ready to negotiate and understand where the other side is really coming from.

Self Commitment

In order to be successful in a negotiation, you have to believe in yourself. Nobody else involved in the negotiations has this obligation and so it is a critical factor that you have to take care of. If prior to a negotiation starting you make a commitment to yourself to reach a deal with the other side, then no matter what happens during the negotiations you probably will reach a deal with them.

If you want to take this level of self-commitment just a bit further, you can involve other people. When we tell other people that we are going to accomplish something, such as being successful in a negotiation, all of sudden we become more committed to accomplishing what we’ve said. There is the fear of losing ego and so this kind of commitment is one way to make sure that we don’t change our minds!

What All Of This Means For You

Negotiators have a great number of tools that we can bring to a principled negotiation. Each of these tools can help us in some way to get the deal that we want with the other side of the table. One of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal is the power of commitment that comes in four different varieties.

Commitment can be found in a number of different forms. One is the level of commitment that we have to our company. We really do need to believe in what we are doing if we want to be successful in a negotiation. Commitment also can come from people who work for the company or organization that we are negotiating with. If we can get people who are not at the negotiating table to support us and our offering, then pressure will be applied on the other side. Negotiating occurs between people and if we can create a commitment between us, then the process of negotiating will be simplified. Finally, we have to make a commitment to ourselves in order to make sure that we’ll be successful.

Commitment is a powerful force when it comes to negotiating. We need to be able to recognize the different forms of commitment that may be at play in a negotiation and then we need to use them to get the kind of deal that we are looking for.

– 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 are committed to completing a 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

It pretty much goes without saying that our goal in any negotiation is to find a way to convince the other side of the table to do what we want them to do. During a negotiation we may try to use different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, but in the end what we really need to do is to find a way to win the other side over. One technique that we can use to make this happen is called wooing.

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