What Will It Take To Make The Other Side Feel Satisfied?

Satisfaction is what the other side is really looking for
Satisfaction is what the other side is really looking for
Image Credit: Philipp Richter

As we prepare for our next negotiation with all of its negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, it can be all too easy for us to focus on what we want to get out of the negotiation. I mean, that’s really why we’re going to go to the effort of participating, right? It turns out that if this is our thinking, we are overlooking a critical part of the negotiation – understanding what the other side wants. The only way that we’re going to be able to reach a deal with them is if we can figure out what it’s going to take to satisfy them.

What The Other Side Is Really Looking For

The first thing that the other side of the table is looking to get out of negotiating with you is the ability to walk away from the table feeling as though they did a good job and that they selected the right product or service. What this is really going to come down to is what will happen after the negotiation is over. The other side wants people to come up to them and to tell them that they did a clever job negotiating with you and that the thing that they negotiated for was of high quality.

The other side is living a complex life. There are a lot of things that are going on in their world and they want to make sure that doing business with you is not going to further complicate their life. What this means for you is that they are looking to ensure that you can help them to avoid both trouble and risk. If they agree to do a deal with you, they want to make sure that this won’t turn into something else that they have to spend time worrying about.

This deal is going to have a lasting impact on the other side’s relationship with their company. If the deal turns out to be a good deal for the company, then the other side will come out looking like a star. If the deal causes the company problems, delays, or a great deal of expense then it’s going to hurt the career of the person that you are dealing with. They are looking to you to make them look good to the rest of their company.

What It’s Going To Take To Satisfy The Other Side

In order for the other side to feel satisfied, they have to believe that they are going to get something out of doing business with you. All of us are leading complicated lives that have a lot going on in them. However, if you can show the other side that by doing business with you their lives will become simpler, then they’ll be willing to reach a deal with you. If you can show them that you can remove unnecessary work from their days then you will be the one that they’ll be willing to sign a deal with.

Time is critical to all of us. The negotiation that you are involved in with the other side is taking up some of their valuable time. What they really want to do is to get this negotiation over and done with so that they can move on to whatever the next thing that they need to be doing is. They want to get this over with. If you can provide them with a deal that meets their needs, then they can sign it and move on to other things.

Finally, the other side realizes that this negotiation with you is really the first step in what may be a long series of negotiations. What this means is that how they come out of it looking is important to them. They want you to consider them to be a nice person who is fair to negotiate with. By doing this, they’ll ensure that you’ll be willing to negotiate with them again in the future.

What All Of This Means For You

If you want to be able to emerge from your next principled negotiation with the deal that you went into it looking for, then you are going to have to take some time and consider why the other side is willing to negotiate with you. You’ve got to understand what they want to get out of the negotiations. What they are looking for is some form of satisfaction and you are going to have to find a way to make sure that they get it.

What will it take to make the other side feel satisfied by negotiating with you? First, it’s critical that they walk away feeling that your product or service was the right one for them and that they did a good job while they were negotiating with you. They want to keep their life simple and so they are going to be willing to do business with you as long as it’s not going to complicate their life. You need to make sure that this deal is going to make the other side look good to the rest of their company. Doing a deal with you has to simplify the life of the other side. Finally, the other side wants to come away from all of this looking like a nice person who is also fair.

Yes, when you are going into a negotiation you do have goals that you want to achieve. However, in order to be successful, you also have to take the time to determine what it’s going to take in order to make sure that the other side feels that they were successful. By doing this you will ensure that they feel good about the deal that they reach with you today and are willing to negotiate with you again in the future.

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

Question For You: What would you think is a good way to measure the other side’s current level of satisfaction with the negotations?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

A lot of times when we look back over a negotiation that we’ve participated in, we’ll try to determine where things went wrong. How did a negotiation that was supposed to be simple suddenly become so hard? We might want to think that the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that the other side put them in a more powerful position; however, more often than not we’d be wrong. Instead, what probably happened was at some point in time we said something dumb.