What Motivates The Other Side Of A Sales Negotiation?

by drjim on September 24, 2010

What the other side wants is what is going to motivate them

What the other side wants is what is going to motivate them

In order to be successful in a sales negotiation, you need to play two roles: your side of the negotiating table as well as the other. When you are trying to determine how the other side of the table views the world (and therefore how they will negotiate with you), one of the most important discoveries that you need to make is to find outjust what motivates them…

More Than Meets The Eye

One of the most important things that you’ve got to realize about the motivations that are driving the other side of the table, is that they may be unknown. The analogy is much like an iceberg: it’s not what is above the surface, but rather the part that is below the surface that you’ve got to watch out for.

When you are stepping into the other side’s shoes in order to better understand what their motivations are,you’ve got to think beyond the obvious. Once you’ve identified the obvious things that may be driving their positions, take the time to go farther – what might be making these issues important to them?

Can We Talk About Value?

A key component to better understanding how motivated the other side is going to be is to understand what they think that what we are offering to them is worth. The more value that it has, the more motivated they will be to reach a deal with us.

An important point to realize is that there are two types of value that you need to take into consideration:short term and long term. The longer term the value is of the issues that are being negotiated, then the greater value they have and the more likely a deal can be reached.

The Third Man

Reaching a deal is a wonderful feeling for everyone at the table. We shake hands and congratulate each other after it’s done. However, the deal that we’ve reached may not be for the people at the table.

In order to fully understand the motivation that is driving the other side of the table, we need to make sure that we know who is pulling the strings. If a deal is reached, who within the other side’s organization stands to benefit the most?

Get Out Your Wallet

One of the keys to understanding motivation is to know who’s going to pay? Every agreement that we reach has a cost associated with it. This means that in the end, someone is going to have to get their wallet out.

Don’t let yourself get fooled into thinking that it’s the other side of the table that’s going to be paying. It can often be a 3rd party such as their customer, etc.

Problems With Risk

In order to understand what motivates someone, you need to understand both what they want – and what they don’t want. This means that you’re going to have to develop an understanding of how they view risk.

The key is to understand just how risk adverse they are. The more risk adverse they are, the stronger lever you have that can be pulled during the negotiations

What All Of This Means For You

Motivation is what drives you during a sales negotiation. It’s the same thing that is driving the other side of the table during the negotiation also. You need to take the time to understand the other side’s motivations.

To do this you’re going to need to find out what their motivations are, understand who is driving their motivations, and realize who’s going to benefit the most from the negotiations.

Once you’ve got this all covered, you’ll be in a good place. You’ll be able to understand why the other side makes the decisions that they do. Once you have this level of understanding,reaching a deal with the other side will have become that much easier…

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

Question For You: What’s the best way to discover what motivates the other side in a negotiaton?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s go hunting, shall we? If you are getting ready to enter into a sales negotiation, then you need to make sure that you have collected all of the information about the deal and the other side of the table that you can. In order to do this, you’re going to have to get good at hunting for information. Let me act as your hunting guide…

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