Negotiators Know The Power Of Not Making Up Your Mind

by drjim on August 12, 2011

Knowing Which Way To Go During A Negotiation Is Not Always Necessary

Knowing Which Way To Go During A Negotiation Is Not Always Necessary

I hate to negotiate with people who don’t know how to negotiate. Knowing this you might think that I’m always expecting the other side to be on top of things, know what they want and have a plan on how they are going to get there. It turns out that you’d be wrong – sometimes not being able to make up your mind is more powerful than knowing where you are going.

The Power Of Not Knowing

The concept of not knowing what you want to do or where you want to go seems to go against the grain of how we like to picture ourselves as negotiators. Instead, we like to see ourselves as bold and confident – knowing where we’re going to go even before we get there.

However, what we forget is that every sales negotiation is a stressful situation. Any decisions that we make during a negotiation are decisions that we’ll be making under pressure – and all too often those types of decisions are bad decisions.

A lot of people don’t realize just how much effort goes into not making your mind up. It’s actually quite easy to focus on one path of action. Not selecting where you want to go is much harder.

How To Use Indecision To Your Advantage

So maybe not being able to make up your mind is a good thing? In some ways the answer to this question is yes, it can put you into a more powerful position when you are negotiating.

One of the biggest benefits of not being able to make up your mind during a negotiation is that you are in no position to reach a deal. This means that if the other side wants to settle quickly, then they are going to have to be the ones who make concessions to move both sides close to close.

This also means that you get to control the flow of time. You cannot make up your mind for as long as you want to – you’re in charge of that. This can end up frustrating the other side of the table and once again this may lead them to making even more concessions just because they want the negotiations to be over and done with!

What All Of This Means For You

One of the big secrets that most negotiators who are just starting out don’t realize is that a bit of indecision can be a powerful tool during a negotiation. You’d think that knowing exactly what you want to be doing and where you want the negotiations to be heading would be necessary, but it isn’t.

The power that comes from being indecisive comes from the simple fact that you can’t reach a deal with the other side because you don’t really know what you want. This means that the other side can’t force you to do something that you don’t want to – you don’t know enough to make a mistake. This is going to result in the other side making more concessions to you just to keep things moving along.

Despite what your mother may have told you while you were growing up, the brightest people don’t always finish first. Sometimes when we don’t know what we want to do we can end up coming out ahead!

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

Question For You: How do you think that you can make yourself remain indecisive during a sales negotiation?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Talk about running into a brick wall! Sometimes when we are in the middle of a negotiation, especially with a state or federal official, we come face to face with a regulation that prevents us from getting what we want. Is it time to give up? Nope, you just need to know the magic 6 words that you need to say…

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