The Power Of Woo When It Comes Time To Negotiate

by drjim on October 20, 2017

Sometimes you need to woo the other side

Sometimes you need to woo the other side
Image Credit: Boris Baldinger

It pretty much goes without saying that our goal in any negotiation is to find a way to convince the other side of the table to do what we want them to do. During a negotiation we may try to use different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, but in the end what we really need to do is to find a way to win the other side over. One technique that we can use to make this happen is called wooing.

Just Exactly What Is Wooing?

If you are going to understand what wooing is, then you are going to have to first understand just exactly what the difference between want and need is. When we are engaged in a negotiation, what we would like to be able to do is to find a way to communicate to the other side of the table that we want to do business with them.

We don’t want to show any desperation, just desire to do business. It is entirely possible that we may forget to do this wooing thing when we are engaged in a negotiation. Our company may be the biggest player in the market or we may be the sole source provider for the other side of the table, there are a lot of different things that can put us into a powerful position. When this happens, we may make the mistake of assuming that we don’t need to let the other side know that we really do want their business.

This is a mistake because even in these situations you need to clearly communicate that you want to do business with the other side. Keep in mind that what may be making you strong and powerful today may go away in the future and yet you’d still like to do business with the other side even then.

When Should You Woo?

One of the questions that we need to ask ourselves is just exactly how we should go about using this wooing thing. If we find ourselves in a position where we are the dominate company, then we need to take a step back and have a conversation with the other side. We need to come out and tell them that we really do want to do business with them. The current business situation may make it hard for us to offer them a deal or give in to any of their requests, but this should not be taken as unwillingness on our part.

One way that we can woo the other side of the table is to show them that we are willing to work for their business. When the other side can see that we are really making an effort for them either by taking time to create a great presentation, or going back to our boss to argue for their cause, they will start to feel on a personal level that we are committed to working with them. It’s going to be a lot harder for them to tell us “no”.

The power of wooing comes from the fact that if we show the other side that we are wooing them, then they will be motivated to go along with our ideas. No, they may not think that the proposals that we have made to them are the best and there may even be another company who has made a better proposal, but because we wooed them – took the time to make the extra effort, they just might choose us. That’s the true power of wooing.

What All Of This Means For You

During a principled negotiation we may be up against other company’s or other firms that may have better products to offer than we do. If we want to get the deal, then we need to convince the other side of the table to choose us. One way to go about making this happen is to woo them.

Wooing deals with the difference between want and need. Our obligation is to show the other side that we want to do business with them (we may need to do business with them, but we should hide that from them). Even if our company is the dominate company in a given field, we need to take the time to let the other side know that we want to do business with them because things can always change. In order to woo the other side, we can accomplish this by showing them that we are willing to do extra work to make a deal happen. When they see this, they will be motivated to select us over all other firms.

In any negotiation, our goal is to be able to walk away with a deal that we can live with. In order to get the other side to agree to the deal that we want, we need to practice the art of wooing. If we can master this, then the other side will be left with an understanding that we really want to do business with them and they will then feel more motivated to go along with what we have proposed.

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

Question For You: When do you think that wooing should start – before the negotiations start?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

A quick show of hands please: who among us likes taking risks? Hmm, not very many hands are up. That’s pretty much par for the course. However, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used, risk plays a big part in every negotiation that we take part in. In fact, risk is a critical part of each negotiation. One definition of negotiation states that it consists of three things: looking at what is desired, discovering the other side’s position, and taking risks. During a negotiation, if you are more willing to take risks than the other side is, then you have an advantage.

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