One of the most important questions that every negotiator needs to be considering during a negotiation is just exactly why the other side of the table is there. What are they really hoping to get out of the investment of time and energy that they are putting into this negotiation? Ultimately, they are looking to find satisfaction – or at least more satisfaction than dissatisfaction. How are you going to make that happen?
What The Other Side Wants From This Negotiation
In order to be able to reach a deal with the other side of the table, you are going to have to take some time and do a bit of role playing. What you are going to want to do is to crawl inside of their head and try to determine how they are viewing the negotiation.
What you’d like to be able to understand is what their level of satisfaction is. They are going to be seeing the negotiation as a “flow” of actions and events that are going to cause them to either experience satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The big question for you is do they feel that they are going to get more dissatisfaction or satisfaction from the deal that is on the table right now.
What the other side of the table is going to be looking for, if they are an experienced negotiator, is a way to balance the satisfaction and the dissatisfaction that they are going to get from this deal. You play a key role in making this happen.
How Have Other People Solved This Problem?
If the other side of the table views the current deal as offering them more dissatisfaction then you are staring at a deadlock situation. Getting the other side to view the current deal that you are offering to them as producing more satisfaction instead of dissatisfaction can be done in a number of different ways.
One way is to simply change the stream of satisfaction that they can anticipate getting from the deal that you are offering to them. Depending on the deal that you are negotiating, there are several different ways that you can make this happen. You can change the terms of the deal and make it a longer term contract. Alternately, you can increase the size of the deal that is being negotiated.
Another approach is to focus on the amount of dissatisfaction the other side believes is associated with the deal that is being negotiated. Once again, there are different ways to go about making this happen. One way is to provide the other side with various guarantees that will assure them that payments or deliveries will occur when they expect them to. Additionally, establish processes for how any issues that arise during the implementation of the agreement will be handled.
What All Of This Means For You
The last thing that any negotiator wants to happen during a negotiation is to encounter a deadlock situation that they can’t get out of. If the other side of the table starts to believe that the deal that is being negotiated will bring them more dissatisfaction than satisfaction, then no deal is going to happen.
You can take steps to change the flow of satisfaction that the other side of the table perceives that he or she will be receiving. One way to do this is to change the terms of the deal and make it either longer or larger. Alternatively, you can decrease the amount of dissatisfaction the other side believes that they will experience by providing them with guarantees or by creating processes to deal with any issues that come up.
It may seem silly to go to the effort of trying to determine how much satisfaction or dissatisfaction the other side of the table is experiencing; however, it will be time well spent. Boost the other side’s level of satisfaction with the deal that you are presenting them with and watch them agree to the deal that you have presented them with!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: At what point in a negotiation should you start to worry about how satisfied the other side is?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Have you ever been engaged in a negotiation in which things just didn’t seem to be going very well? Eventually everything ground to a halt and you realized that the negotiation had hit a deadlock? Were you able to determine why this had happened? I almost hate to bring this up, but is there a possibility that the problem could have been…you?