How do you view yourself when you are conducting a negotiation? Do you see yourself as poised, confident, and above all rational? I think that most of us see ourselves this way. However, it turns out that we might be missing something here – there is a real power in being irrational sometimes…
Just What Does Irrationality Look Like During A Negotiation?
So let’s think about this for a moment: do we really know what rational people look like? I mean, we think that we do. We believe that we have conversations with them each and every day. They seem to keep their voices in a low conversational tone, they listen quietly when you are talking to them and they respond with carefully though out responses to what you’ve just said.
So if we can all agree on what the negotiation style of a rational negotiator is, it does bring up the question of just exactly what does the negotiating technique of an irrational negotiator look like?
The answer is that it looks pretty much like what you would expect it to look like. Irrational behavior takes on many different forms during a sales negotiations. The first is that you start to reject what the other side of the table says without having a good reason. Another sign that you may be an irrational negotiator is if you start to express a lot of emotions during the negotiations.
Irrationality can take on many different forms. The other side may present you with very rational arguments, but you don’t have to agree with them. You have a number of different choices: you can be partly logical, illogical, even go all the way and be illogical.
How Powerful Is Irrationality?
I can almost hear you saying “Why should I be irrational during a sales negotiation?” In fact, if I want to engage in principled negotiation should I even consider using irrational negotiations? When we look at the negotiation definition that we all use, we realize that the best way to look at irrationality is that it is just another tool that needs to be in everone’s negotiator’s toolkit.
The other side of the table will be spending the entire time that you are negotiating trying to read your mind. Trying to figure out what your next step is going to be. When you start to work some irrationality into your negotiation process, you will confuse them.
This is a powerful negotiating technique; however, you may struggle to pull it off. It really comes down to what your natural negotiating style is. If you are a highly logical person who rarely shows any emotion during a negotiation, then you may struggle to start to incorporate irrational behavior into your negotiations.
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
In the classic sci-fi TV show “Star Trek”, the bad guys have a cloaking device that allows their spacecraft to disappear. As a sales negotiator it turns out that you have your own form of a cloaking device: the power of behaving irrationally.
The other side of the table will always be trying to read your mind and pre-anticipate what your next move is going to be. Using your ability to be illogical can throw off the other side. Being illogical means that at times you become unreasonable, you start to show a great deal of emotion or you simply don’t agree with what they have presented, no matter how clear and logical it is.
In order to have successful negotiations, you need to be able to take on multiple identities during a negotiation. Becoming an illogical negotiator is one such identity and the sooner you learn to use your illogical powers, the sooner you’ll be on your way to closing more deals successfully.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: What time in a sales negotiation do you think would be the best to start to introduce more of your emotions?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
So it turns out that one of the key personality characteristics that may have gotten you this far in your career may actually be hindering your ability to negotiate. Yep, in the world of negotiating, there’s no place for a nice guy.