Ok, so I admit it, “win” is generally not a term that we are supposed to use when talking about a negotiation. Remember, it’s not about winning or losing a negotiation, but rather how you play the game. However, let’s say that what I really mean is that no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used in your next negotiation, you should take the time to let Mr. Zipf help you to get the best deal possible. How’s that? Better?
What Mr. Zipf Wants You To Know
Hopefully we can all agree that the person who does the most preparation for the next negotiation that you are going to be involved in will most likely end up walking away from the discussions with the best deal. This always leads to the question: just how much homework is required for a negotiation?
A gentleman by the name of Mr. Zipf wondered the same thing several years ago. He decided to do some studies on just exactly how people act. What he found out just might surprise you.
What Zipf discovered what that people tend to put in the least amount of effort that is required to achieve a goal. When comes to getting ready for a negotiation, this means that the other side of the table will not do any more research or work than they feel is absolutely necessary.
This has big implications for you. It turns out that if you are willing to put in as much time and effort as you possibly can in getting ready for your next negotiation, then Mr. Zipf believes that you can have a very good chance of winning every point in your next negotiation.
Mr. Zipf’s Documents Secret
Most of the negotiations that we are involved in are long, complicated, drawn-out affairs. What this means is that there is way too much going on for anyone to have a hope of being able to remember what has been agreed to, what still needs to be discussed, or exactly why various decisions were made in the first place.
What this all means is that the documents that we use during a negotiation are critical. Once it’s been written down, everyone feels that the issue has been documented and they can move on to the next topic. However, the big question is who wrote if down?
Mr. Zipf recommends that we always offer to create the documents that will be used in the negotiations. By creating the documents, you’ll be taking control of the negotiations. Because you were the author of the documents, the other side will not be able to determine what was put into the document or what you chose to leave out. It can easy to carefully read a document and review what’s there; however, it is very hard to read a document and try to determine what is not there.
What All Of This Means For You
I’ve got some great news for you: you have a very good chance of being able to walk away from your next principled negotiation with the deal that you want. If you’re willing to listen to what Mr. Zipf has to say, you’ve got a very good chance of getting your way.
Mr. Zipf has done the research. What he found is that the other side of the table more often than not will just do the minimum required to get ready for the negotiation. If you do that – and then even more, you can be the one who is well prepared. The better prepared you are, the better your chances of coming out ahead are.
No, negotiating has not just suddenly become easier to do. Rather, you should view this as being the motivation for you to take the time to do all of that pre-negotiation homework that you know that you need to do. It turns out, according to Mr. Zipf, it’s all going to pay off for you!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: Just exactly how much time do you think that you should put into getting ready for your next negotiation?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As negotiators we all know that it is possible for a negotiation to grind to a halt. We can get very, very close to reaching a deal with the other side of the table, but for some unknown reason despite all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we’ve been using, we just are not able to get there. It turns out that there is a classic negotiating technique that just might be what we need to get over that line. To use it, all you have to be willing to do is to give something away for free…