Fast Or Slow: What’s The Right Speed For Your Next Negotiation?

by drjim on June 13, 2014

Negotiators need to control the pace of a negotiation

Negotiators need to control the pace of a negotiation

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We often spend time talking about the negotiation styles or negotiating techniques that should be used in our next negotiation; however, we rarely ever spend any time talking about .how fast the negotiations should go. Should you next negotiation be a fast negotiation or a slow negotiation?

Why Quick Deals Are Never A Good Idea

I really like the idea of a “quick deal”. You know what I mean: you get in, you get out and you have a deal that you can live with without having to invest too much time or effort planning. However, I speak from experience when I tell you that a quick deal is almost never a good idea.

Quick deals generally wrap up with one or both sides leaving the table feeling unhappy. The reasons can be varied, but generally it comes down to the simple fact that they now realize that they somehow missed a critical detail. If only they had had more time to explore more possibilities, then they could have reached a much better deal.

Racing through a negotiation does not allow you to take care of the people side of a deal. Everyone’s ego needs to be stroked during a negotiation; they need to feel as though you are willing to take the time to understand them as a person before they are going to be willing to reach a deal with you. If you skip this step, you might get a deal, but you’re not going to get the best deal.

Why You’ll Want To Control The Pace Of Your Next Negotiation

The pace of a negotiation is something that can be controlled. Now the big question is by who? It’s either going to be you or the other side of the table. I’d like to recommend that it should be you.

The first thing that you are going to want to do when a negotiation starts is to determine how fast the other side wants the negotiations to move. Are they operating under a time limit and do they need to reach a deal quickly? Or is something not ready on their side and they need to slow things down so that they can get their act together?

As a negotiator you need to determine what pace they want to negotiate at and then you need to try to change it. Move from slow to fast, or fast to slow. See how the other side reacts. This will reveal information to you about what kind of constraints they are operating under and will provide you with more information that you can then use to create your negotiating strategy.

What All Of This Means For You

The final outcome of your next principled negotiation may depend on the pace of the negotiation. The other side of the table may want things to go fast or slow, but that doesn’t mean that you should agree with them.

Negotiations that complete too quickly can leave one or both parties feeling dissatisfied. Because all of the possibilities were not explored, one or both parties may feel that they didn’t get the best deal. Additionally, when the other side wants the negotiation to move at a given pace, you need to take control and make the negotiations move at the pace that you desire.

Who controls how fast a negotiation progresses is one form of negotiating power. You’ll want to control this and so you need to take the time to determine how fast the other side wants the negotiation to proceed and then take steps to control its pace.

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

Question For You: Do you think that it is possible to slow down a negotiation too much?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In your next negotiation, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used, there will be a pace at which the negation moves. One or the other side of the table will be controlling this pace. The big question is will it be you? If you can agree with me that it would be a good thing for you to be in control of the pace of your next negotiation, then we quickly find ourselves moving on to dealing with the question: how can you control the pace of a negotiation?

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