The 4 Types Of Commitment You Have To Bring To A Negotiation

by drjim on October 13, 2017

In order to get the deal that you want, it's going to take commitment

In order to get the deal that you want, it’s going to take commitment
Image Credit: Fouquier ॐ

As negotiators we understand that a great deal of what it takes to be successful in a negotiation resides in our head. How we view the negotiation, how we view the other side of the table, etc. are all key parts to what kind of deal we can expect to walk away with. However, there is one critical thing that we can all too easily overlook if we are not careful. This thing is commitment and just how much of it we have can make all the difference in what kind of deal we’ll be able to secure.

Commitment To Your Company

You would think that as negotiators we have all mastered the art of wearing a “poker face” during a negotiation. How we feel on the inside is something that we should be able to hide from the outside world. However, it turns out that this is not the case. When you walk into your next negotiation you have to believe in the company that you are working for.

It is critical that you believe that your product or service is the best, that your people are the smartest, and the way that you stand behind your negotiating promises is unmatched. If you have this kind of commitment then you will have a powerful force on your side and that can only help you to get better deals and to get them faster.

Commitment From People On The Other Side

One of the things that is all too easy to overlook while you are in the heat of a negotiation is that there may be a number of different decision makes that can influence the other side of the table. Sure, there are the people sitting at the table, but there may be many more people behind the scenes.

As a negotiator you need to realize this. If you can get commitment from people who work for the company or organization that you are negotiating with, then you will have strengthened your position. Getting this kind of commitment takes both a great deal of legwork and time. You’ll need to get everything lined up before the negotiations start, but if you do then the other side will have almost no other option then to agree to work with you and the deal that you’ve proposed to them.

Personal Commitment

Like it or not, negotiating is a very intimate undertaking. You sit at a table with the other side and the two of you try to get the other to see the world the way that you do. There is no way that you are going to be able to make this happen unless you develop a deep understanding of just exactly who you are talking to and what they want to get out of this negotiation.

There are a lot of ways to develop this level of personal commitment from the other side. A lot of it has to do with spending time with them outside of negotiating. This allows the two of you to not have to worry about negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. As each of you get to know each other better, you’ll be ready to negotiate and understand where the other side is really coming from.

Self Commitment

In order to be successful in a negotiation, you have to believe in yourself. Nobody else involved in the negotiations has this obligation and so it is a critical factor that you have to take care of. If prior to a negotiation starting you make a commitment to yourself to reach a deal with the other side, then no matter what happens during the negotiations you probably will reach a deal with them.

If you want to take this level of self-commitment just a bit further, you can involve other people. When we tell other people that we are going to accomplish something, such as being successful in a negotiation, all of sudden we become more committed to accomplishing what we’ve said. There is the fear of losing ego and so this kind of commitment is one way to make sure that we don’t change our minds!

What All Of This Means For You

Negotiators have a great number of tools that we can bring to a principled negotiation. Each of these tools can help us in some way to get the deal that we want with the other side of the table. One of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal is the power of commitment that comes in four different varieties.

Commitment can be found in a number of different forms. One is the level of commitment that we have to our company. We really do need to believe in what we are doing if we want to be successful in a negotiation. Commitment also can come from people who work for the company or organization that we are negotiating with. If we can get people who are not at the negotiating table to support us and our offering, then pressure will be applied on the other side. Negotiating occurs between people and if we can create a commitment between us, then the process of negotiating will be simplified. Finally, we have to make a commitment to ourselves in order to make sure that we’ll be successful.

Commitment is a powerful force when it comes to negotiating. We need to be able to recognize the different forms of commitment that may be at play in a negotiation and then we need to use them to get the kind of deal that we are looking for.

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

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to make sure that you are committed to completing a negotiation?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

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.

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