I truly enjoy participating in a negotiation. However, even I know that all good things eventually comes to an end – at some point it’s time to put away all of our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques because you’ve got to close the negotiation and reach a deal. How to close a negotiation is an art. I’ve got two ways that you can tell when the other side is willing to wrap things up…
Why Sunk Costs Matter When It’s Time To Close
Let me ask you a question: have you ever been working on something when all of a sudden the thought crossed your mind that maybe this really wasn’t worth it? Once upon a time I was hunting for something in a room and so I had moved about half of everything in the room out into the hall. At this point I had not found what I was looking for and I was getting tired and dejected. I started to think that this just wasn’t worth the effort that it was taking.
However, that was when I looked around me at all of the work that I had already done. I knew how much work it was going to be to move everything back if I quit now – and I still would not have found what I was looking for. I decided to keep on looking (and I eventually found what I was looking for!) The decision to keep looking was based on what is called the “sunk cost principle” – I had so much invested in my search already that I was willing to keep on going.
In a negotiation, the other side will eventually reach a point in which they may come to the same conclusion: they’ve put so much time and effort into the negotiations that they really want to close on a deal. When this happens, you are very close to wrapping up the negotiations.
Negotiations Are Hard And That’s Why It’s Good To Close
I went to college and got a degree. It turns out that going to college is quite difficult to do and it takes 4 years. During my Senior year, when the classes got really hard, I was able to muster the effort to keep going because I could see the finish line.
I really wanted to graduate from college. I knew how hard I had worked to get to where I was and because of that effort, graduating and getting a degree was very important to me. During a negotiation, the same mindset can occur.
If the negotiations have been long and hard, then the other side will appreciate how far they have come in the negotiations. Because it has been hard to get to where they are, the other side is going to be more willing to settle with you. They realize that if they had to work this hard to get this far with you, if they decide to walk away and go negotiate with someone else, then they’ll have to do it all over again.
What All Of This Means For You
Anybody can negotiate with the other side of the table. It takes a professional negotiator to be able to close a deal with them. In order to close, you need to be able to determine when the other side is ready to wrap things up. There are two key things that you can look out for.
The first is to determine when the other side believes that they have invested a great deal into the negotiations. Once this has been done, they will be unwilling to walk away and will want to reach a final deal. The second thing to look for is when the other side has worked hard to get the negotiations to where they are. Once this has happened, they will appreciate all of the work that has gone into it and will be eager to reach an agreement with you.
Use these two important negotiating characteristics to determine when the other side is going to be eager to reach a deal with you. Knowing that they want to close the principled negotiation will put you into a powerful position where you can make their wishes come true while getting what you want too.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: When the sunk cost has become so great that the other side wants to close, should you do it quickly or drag it out?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Just exactly how do you think that a negotiation lurches closer and closer to a resolution? If you think that it happens because of all of the clever negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that both sides use, think again. It turns out that there is a secret to making progress towards an eventual deal in any negotiation. The secret is to have off-the-record discussions with the other side of the table.