He Who Works The Hardest, Wins The Negotiation

by drjim on September 29, 2009

Hard Work Pays Off In Negotiations

Hard Work Pays Off In Negotiations

What is the secret for walking away from your next sales negotiation feeling satisfied? We all wish that there was some magic “silver bullet” technique that if we knew what it was we could use it every time we negotiate in order to be able to walk away feeling like our negotiating time was well spent. It turns out that there is such a technique, and it’s called doing your homework.

The Hard Work Theory

I don’t think that I’m going to be causing anyone to fall over in surprise when I tell you that it has been proven time after time that the harder that you work during a negotiation, the better the result that you’ll be able to achieve. This is what professional negotiators refer to as “the hard work theory“.

An interesting side benefit to the hard work theory is that during the negotiation, the harder that you make the other side of the table work, the greater will be their level of satisfaction with the final outcome. This of course means that they will be that much more likely to fully honor their side of the agreement.

It goes without saying that there is another side to the hard work theory. Simply put, lazy people make poor sales negotiators. What this means for you is that the next time that you are preparing for a negotiation and are assembling a team, you’re going to want to make sure that you have no lazy people on your team!

Using Work Power To Build Negotiating Power

Since the negotiator who works the hardest will generally come out of any negotiation ahead of the other side, this brings up the question of how we can use this “work power” to our best advantage. It turns out that there are three principles that can guide us in doing this:

  • The Least Effort Principle , This principle states that most people would prefer to make their lives as easy as possible. This means that they really don’t want to negotiate , they’d rather just say “yes” to an offered deal instead of complicating their lives by having to negotiate for a better deal. What this means for you is that most people won’t want to walk away from a sales negotiation once its started because it would be too much effort to find someone else and restart negotiations.
  • The Wasted Work Principle , This principle is exactly what it sounds like, nobody likes to waste their time and energy. What this means for you is that once a sales negotiation has been started, the other side wants to see it through to the end. In fact, the longer the negotiation goes on, the more the other side wants the deal to close.
  • The Easy-Come-Easy-Go Principle , Simple put, nobody really wants anything for free. The other side will not appreciate anything that they get too easily. Instead, you need to make it at least somewhat difficult for the other side to get what they want. Only by doing this will you boost the other side of the table’s satisfaction with the final result of the negotiations.

Final Thoughts

The buyer who makes up his or her mind that “there’s always another deal” if this deal collapses is best able to show some resolve and obtain a better price. However, thankfully, most negotiators are too lazy and subscribe to the three work principles of negotiating: least effort, wasted work, and easy-come-easy-go.

What this means for you is that the more energy and effort that you put into a negotiation, then the better your odds of coming out of it with a deal that both sides are happy with.

If you can learn to do your homework better than the other side of the table before your next negotiation, then you will be able to close better deals and close them quicker.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In this world there are two types of negotiators: the good ones and everyone else. The goal of any negotiator is to become a member of the group of good negotiators. The challenge is that the path to becoming a good negotiator is not always clear. However, there are two basic skills that lay on this path: persistence and the ability to take the right risks.

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