What everyone is looking for in a negotiation is a bargain

What everyone is looking for in a negotiation is a bargain
Image Credit: Anthony Easton

What do you think the other side of the table is looking to get out of their negotiation with you? A lower price? More quantity? Better delivery dates? These may all be true, but deep down inside what the other side wants to walk away from the table after all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques have been put away is with a feeling of satisfaction – a job well done. In order to make this happen, they are going to have to be left with the feeling that they were able to get a bargain. Do you know how to make this happen?

Just Exactly What Is A Bargain?

If we want to be able to recognize a bargain when the other side presents it to us or when we want to determine how we can present them with a bargain, then we’re going to have to make sure that we understand exactly what a bargain is. All too often both sides of the table can start to believe that a bargain simply has to do with the price of what is being negotiated.

You know the routine. If one side the table ends up paying full price, then they will feel as though they did not get a bargain. If they found a way to pay less than the full price, then they will feel as though they got a bit of a bargain. If they end up paying a lot less than the full price, then they will feel as though they got a real good bargain. If the other side leaves the negotiation feeling as though he got bargain, then he will feel satisfied and will be willing to negotiate with you again in the future.

This view of price as being the key to getting a bargain is a limited view that we need to overcome. There are a number of different things that can play into having someone believe that they are getting a bargain. These things can include conditions, circumstances, and facts. Taken together, all of these can contribute to the feeling that we got a bargain. Note that some may have to do with price while at the same time, some do not.

Conditions That Suggest A Bargain

There are several conditions, which if met, can led one side of a negotiation to feeling that they were able to get a bargain out of the negotiations. A great example of this is if it turns out that there is very little risk that I’m going to end up feeling dissatisfied with the purchase or having problems with it. It’s entirely possible that the item that is being negotiated is quite expensive and I may end up paying either full price or close to the full price for it. However, if once I have it I know that it’s just going to work and that if I ever had a problem with it you’d jump on it to get it fixed, then I will believe that I got a bargain. A good example of this might be buying a Mercedes.

Another way that I may feel that I got a bargain is if by getting the product or service, it is treated by others as though I have good taste. By now we are all familiar with how this goes. We agree to purchase something that costs a lot. After we’ve completed the purchase, we may have some misgivings about how much we spent to get the good or service. However, then our friends and colleagues start to complement us on the item that we’ve purchased and all of sudden we no longer feel that we paid too much. I have felt this way before when I have purchased a suit.

There are times that we are negotiating to acquire something that we really don’t have a good feel for what the true value should be. We’ll go through the negotiations and get the best value that we are able to get, but we’ll still walk away from the table not knowing if we did a good job. If afterwards when we tell people what we spent to get the item or service people tell us that we got a good deal, then we will feel as though we got a bargain. This can occur when you are purchasing a home in a new city.

What All Of This Means For You

The reason that we are at the negotiating table is because we want to be able to reach a deal with the other side. In order for us to feel that we did a good job and reached a good deal with them, we need to feel as though we were able to get a bargain. How we can make the other side feel this way is one of the challenges that we face as negotiators.

We need to understand what a bargain is. It’s more than just getting a low price on a good or a service. Instead, it can include a number of different items such as conditions, circumstances, and facts. What we need to realize is that there are a number of different conditions that can cause both ourselves and the other side of the table to feel as though we got a bargain. The first of these occurs when someone pays top dollar for a product or a service. We may regret doing this, but if we know that it’s going to work reliably for us and if we believe that if it ever has problems they will be fixed quickly, then then we’ll feel like we got a bargain. If pay a lot for something and then people complement us on our purchase, we’ll feel as though we have good taste. Finally, if we don’t know how much something should cost and then after having acquired it people tell us that we got a bargain, we’ll start to agree with them.

Bargains are what we are all looking for. During a principled negotiation we need to keep in mind that the other side is seeking to get a bargain also. We need to take steps to make sure that the deal that we’ll be able to reach with them will be seen by them as a bargain. If we can make this happen, then they will actually be looking forward to negotiating with us again in the future.

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

Question For You: What do you think would be the best way to convince the other side that they were getting a bargain by dealing with you?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If you think about it, money is sorta a strange thing. I mean, by itself it really does not have any value – it’s just ink printed on paper, a plastic credit card, or a blank check. However, because we’ve all agreed that indeed money does have a value and that we are willing to exchange things for it, all of a sudden money becomes a lot more important. That’s why it’s strange that in a negotiation when we’re talking about real things, like cash, we do a good job. However, when the discussion switches over to funny money we see to take our eyes off of what we are doing.

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Deadlines can be overcome if you have enough patience

Deadlines can be overcome if you have enough patience
Image Credit: Dean Shareski

Every negotiation is a battle of wits between two sides. The other side needs you to do what they want you to do and so they’ll be trying to use a number of different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to make this happen. One technique that they may try to use on you is to present you with a deadline. When this happens, you need to respond with patience.

The Power Of Patience

Hopefully as a negotiator you understand the power of time during a negotiation. What we need to realize is that during a negotiation we need to take the time to fully understand what the other side’s wants are. By doing this we will make them desire to do a deal with us even more. Along with time comes the concept of patience. Patience just might be one of the most important characteristics of a negotiator who is successful.

One of the challenges that we deal with as negotiators is that patience is not something that seems to come naturally to us. We like it when things move fast and anything that delays the process seems to irritate us. When we enter into a negotiation we are almost completely focused on getting to the deal at the end. We want to get over any obstacles, have the other side agree with us, sign a deal, and then get on to the next thing that we have to work on. Patience has very little to do with the way that we prefer to negotiate.

This is why patience is something that we have to work hard at – we’re not very good at it. For some reason, for most of us, patience is not something that comes naturally to most of us. What we need to realize that patience is a valuable virtue when it comes to negotiating. We need to spend more time working on developing our ability to be patient during a negotiation.

How To Overcome A Deadline

The reason that patience is so important during a negotiation is because we often run into things that will slow the whole process down. Key among these are deadlines. The reason that the other side might use a deadline during a negotiation is because it gives them a way to take time away from you. When a deadline is presented to you, you’ll need to be skeptical. As with everything else in a negotiation, a deadline can be renegotiated.

Time is probably our most valuable tool when we are negotiating. Deadlines are designed to take this tool away from us. All too often when the other side presents us with a deadline we react just the way that they want us to: we start trying to meet their deadline. This is the wrong thing to do. We need to take a step back and question the deadline that has been presented to us. There are, of course, some deadlines that are real. However, you’ll find that most deadlines can easily be changed by the other side.

We need to keep in mind that during a negotiation, we can also use deadlines. We use deadlines to force the other side to take some action. One of the key reasons why we may use a deadline during a negotiation is to limit the actions that the other side can take during a negotiation by limiting the amount of time that they have. One such thing that we want to eliminate is their ability to look for other people that they could do a deal with.

What All Of This Means For You

Negotiations are a match between you and the other side. You both show up with a list of things that you’d like to be able to get out of the principled negotiation and you are going to be looking for ways to get the other side to agree to what you want. One of the most powerful tools that can be used is a deadline.

As negotiators we need to understand that time is a valuable resource during a negotiation. The more time that we have the better deal that we can expect to be able to reach with the other side. To get the deal that we want means that we’re going to have to show some patience. We’re generally not good at this. Patience is a virtue and we need to work at getting better at it. When we are presented with a deadline during a negotiation, we need to practice patience and understand that deadlines, just like everything else, can be negotiated. Deadlines are not just something that the other side will present to us – we can use them also. We use them to limit the other side’s options and move them closer to making a deal with us.

We’d all like to think that we have the skills that we need to become a great negotiator. However, the truth is that we can all use a little help to become better. Patience is something that we need to work on. Patience is especially important when the other side uses a deadline. Deadlines are not necessarily real, but we do need to deal with them. The next time you face a deadline, be patient and work with the other side to find a way around it.

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

Question For You: If the other side presents you with a deadline, should you then turn around and present them you’re your own deadline?

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

What do you think the other side of the table is looking to get out of their negotiation with you? A lower price? More quantity? Better delivery dates? These may all be true, but deep down inside what the other side wants to walk away from the table after all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques have been put away is with a feeling of satisfaction – a job well done. In order to make this happen, they are going to have to be left with the feeling that they were able to get a bargain. Do you know how to make this happen?

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