When You Negotiate On The Phone, You Always Need To Prepare

Phone negotiations require you to come prepared with everything that you'll need
Phone negotiations require you to come prepared with everything that you’ll need
Image Credit: amanda

One of the nice things about being an adult who engages in negotiations is that we are not required to know everything. A negotiation is not like an 8th grade history test where we’re going to be expected to regurgitate everything that we know about what products Brazil exports. We get to use notes. However, what notes we use and how we use them can determine how our next negotiation turns out.

Phone Negotiations Require You To Come Prepared

Phone negotiations are a bit different from a standard face-to-face negotiation. We all have a tendency to treat them just a bit more casually no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are going to be used. We get dressed up when we’re going to be sitting across the table from the other party, we don’t do the same when we’re going to be negotiating over the phone.

You know that when you are going to be negotiating on the phone, you need to be well organized. This means that you need to take the time before the call starts and make sure that you have everything ready and easy to get to. The good news about all of this is that there is a very good chance that the person that you are going to be negotiating with will not be as prepared as you are. They are probably going to be more casual about this negotiation than you are because it’s happening over the phone. This means that they will probably show up ill-prepared to negotiate with you.

The fact that there is a good chance that the other party will not be well prepared to negotiate with you over the phone is a good news for you. Any sort of negotiation that requires a lot of reference material is not a good candidate for a phone negotiation in the first place, but if it is going to happen, then you need every advantage that you can get. Take the time to make sure that you have your act together and when the negotiation starts, you’ll already have an advantage over the other side.

What It Means To Be Completely Prepared For A Phone Negotiation

If we agree that being prepared when the other side is not prepared can help to make the results of a telephone negotiation work out the way that we want them to, then the next thing that we need to do is to find out just exactly what we need to do. One of the most important things that you have to realize is that we’re not just talking about all of those pieces of paper that you’ll need.

Instead, what is really important is that you have taken the time to mentally think through what is going to be required of you during this negotiation. We’re not just talking about making sure that you have all of the paperwork that every negotiation requires. Instead, by anticipating everything that you may need you have taken the time to make sure that it will be available to you when you need it.

The simplest example of what we are talking about here is if this negotiation has a lot of numbers associated with it. At the very least, you are going to need to make sure that you have a good calculator. You may want to have a computer with spreadsheet or even go so far as to have a colleague who is good with numbers by your side. No matter what this negotiation is going to require, make sure that you’ve anticipated it and that you are ready when the call comes!

What All Of This Means For You

For some odd reason, the care and preparation that comes naturally to us when we are preparing to negotiate with someone face-to-face seems to fly out the window when we are involved in a phone principled negotiation. We should all realize that a phone negotiation requires the same level of organization as a face-to-face negotiation.

One of the most important things that we need to realize when are involved in a phone negotiation is that the other side of the negotiation more than likely has not done a good job of preparing for the negotiation. With this knowledge, you can be in control of the negotiation. Make sure that you’ve done your homework prior to the negotiation starting and you’ll have a significant advantage over the other side of the table.

Being prepared for a phone negotiation means more than having a big stack of paper in front of you when the call comes in. You also have to think about what will be covered in the negotiation before it starts. Making sure that everything that you’ll need is available to you when the call comes in is your responsibility. Get this taken care of and you’ll be set to get everything that you need out of your next phone negotiation.

– 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’ve thought of everything that you’ll need to have for your next phone negotiation?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Ah, the phone negotiation. This type of negotiation is just like negotiating face-to-face with all of the same negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, right? Umm, actually no, it isn’t. There are a lot of things that you and I know that we need to do when we are negotiating face-to-face that it can be all too easy to forget about when we are negotiating over the phone. Perhaps we should take just a moment and review two of these critical tasks.