Have you ever changed something about your appearance that made you look dramatically different? How did that go over with your family, friends, and coworkers? I’m willing to bet that right off the bat there was some shock when they first encountered your new look. However, over time that faded and things got back to normal. What happened is that they eventually came around to seeing you the way that you see yourself. When you are negotiating a deal, this same concept can be a powerful factor in helping you to wrap up a negotiation…
The Concept Of Acceptance Time
New ideas take time to be accepted. This is true in real life as well as in negotiations. If you are the one bringing a new idea to a negotiation, such as a price increase, or a shorter time in which you need to receive a product, then you need to expect the other side of the table to push back on the idea when you present it.
Acceptance time is the time that it takes for one party in a negotiation to accept a new idea. This acceptance does not come quickly. Instead, people need time in order to become used to a new set of circumstances.
The reason that acceptance time is such an important part of every negotiation is because we all enter into a negotiation with a mental list of things that we want to get out of the negotiation. When the other side presents us with a demand that does not sit well with our list of desired outcomes, we struggle to reconcile what we want with what is being offered to us.
Our perception of reality is initially shaped by ourselves. As the other side of the table reshapes this perception, we need to adjust and this takes time. This is especially true if the new ideas that the other side is presenting are unpleasant to us.
As negotiators we need to realize that new ideas will become old ideas and ideas that were considered to be completely unacceptable when they were initially presented can become possible once they’ve been on the table long enough. Allowing the concept of acceptance time to work its magic can allow the other side of the table to come around to our way of seeing the world and will make it possible to reach a deal with them.
What All Of This Means For You
Ultimately a negotiation is all about presenting the other side of the table with new ideas. You should expect these new ideas to encounter a lot of resistance when they are first presented.
However, the powerful concept of acceptance time has the ability to transform the negotiation. What was once completely unacceptable when you first presented it, can become understandable and then acceptable if you allow enough time to pass.
Skilled negotiators realize that this is a natural process that can be a part of every negotiation. Using this knowledge they both present new ideas early on in the process and then allow enough time to pass so that the other side can become comfortable with the new ideas. Use the power of acceptance time to allow a deal to be reached no matter how new your proposals are.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
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Question For You: At what time in a negotiation do you think that you should present your new proposals that you know will cause pushback?
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
When you are getting ready for your next negotiation, you might want to spend some time thinking about the most important item that you need to make sure that is in order. I’m not talking about your notes, the location of the negotiations, or even the strategy that you’ve mapped out for the negotiations. What I’m talking about it the time of day at which the negotiations will be held. It turns out that this may be the single most important factor in determining how the negotiations turn out…