I’m pretty sure that any sales negotiator who was given a choice would always choose to close a deal quicker rather than slower. Sure, there are probably some masochists out there, but let’s assume that everyone else would choose the quicker option. Great, now just exactly how do we go about doing this?
Bring The Backup
One way to move a deal along is to spend time before the negotiation thinking about how you believe that it’s going to unfold. As you try to visualize how things are going to go, think through how you are going to be supporting your position at each step of the process.
This is going to bring up a good question of at each step: how are you going to give the other side of the table that little nudge to move in the direction that you want them to go? Once you’ve figured this out, you need to show up at the negotiating table prepared – you need backup.
Whatever it’s going to take to convince the other side to move the way that you want them to move, that’s the kind of backup that you want to have on your side of the table.
Shh – They Can’t Say That!
The quickest way to wrap-up a sales negotiation is to make sure that the other side of the table gets what they want. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, maybe not. Often times the reasons that a negotiation can drag on for so long is because the other side can’t tell you exactly what they want to get out of the negotiation.
It’s up to you to find out what they really need. This often requires you to place yourself in their position and understand their ecosystem. There is always the possibility that they are afraid that the results of the negotiation are going to result in more work for them, or that they’ll be replaced, or that they may come away looking like they didn’t try hard enough to get a good deal.
Once you understand their true goals, you can steer the negotiations to meet these goals and by doing this you may considerably shorten the whole process.
What’s Behind Door #2?
I can tell you from lots and lots of personal negotiating experience, if you’re not careful you can end up wasting a lot of time working on negotiations that are never going to go anywhere.
That’s why before you start any negotiation you need to take the time to sit down and ask yourself “what’s my next option if this just doesn’t work out? ” With a little luck you won’t have to use that option, but knowing what it is can help you to terminate bad negotiation sessions early on and save everyone a lot of needless pain.
You know how it always seems to go: you get done with a negotiation, you shake hands with the other side of the table, and then as you are in the car, on the plane, whatever, on the way home it suddenly hits you “dang, I should have asked for …“.
While there is no way to completely prevent this from ever happening again, one thing that you can do is to take the time before you start the negotiation and mentally picture yourself having just completed a successful deal. Now picture yourself walking away from the table and congratulating yourself. Keep picturing it, keep picturing it – now think about what you might have missed. You’ll be amazed at how many important things you’ll uncover and remember to include in the main negotiations when you do this.
What All Of This Means For You
Nobody ever gets up in the morning and says to themselves, “Gosh, I hope that I get to spend all day locked in a negotiation.” Since we all want to get to the end of each negotiation as quickly as possible, it sure seems like setting the stage to wrap things up quickly would be a good idea.
We’ve covered four different ways that you can do this. Not all of these will apply to every negotiation that you are involved in; however, generally you’ll be able to use at least one.
One side benefit of becoming known as a sales negotiator who can quickly reach a deal is that more people will want to negotiate with you. We all seek to avoid pain, and if you are the answer to making this happen, then your negotiating popularity will soar…
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
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Question For You: What do you think is the best way to determine when a negotiation is never going to reach a deal?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
So what’s the secret to conducting a successful negotiation? Is it taking enough time to plan? Is it picking the right place to hold the negotiations? Turns out that none of these are the right answer. Instead, if you want to be successful you need to do one simple thing: plan for everything to go wrong.