3 Ways That A Sales Negotiator Can Keep A Negotiation Moving Forward

by drjim on March 9, 2012

Don't stop! Keep moving forward…!

Don’t stop! Keep moving forward…!

In every negotiation, you’ll eventually run out of things to say to the other side of the table. I mean, come on, you’ve already said everything. In fact you may have already said everything more than once! You need to be careful when this happens, either side may feel like giving up without having reached an agreement. Never fear, I’ve got 3 techniques that you can use when you encounter this situation that are guaranteed to turn things around:

Use The Power Of “Win-Win”

We all know about the famous “win-win” negotiating technique. However, what you may not know is that just by mentioning this technique you can breathe new life into a negotiation that has run out of steam.

We all respond positively when someone suggests that we “find a way to make this work out for both of us”. The other side will perk up when they hear you say this and a negotiation that looked like it was over will have found its second wind.

Find The Path Of Least Resistance

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been involved in a negotiation and we’ve run into an issue that just brings everything to a halt. It sure looks like there is not going to be a way to resolve this issue and that means that the whole negotiation is in jeopardy.

It turns out that things don’t have to end this way. Instead, you can seek the path of least resistance. Pick another issue that needs to be discussed and move the discussion to this issue. What I find happens is you’ll be able to reach an agreement on a number of these smaller issues and then when you finally come back to the “big” issue, it won’t seem so large the second time around. You’ll be able to resolve it and a deal will finally be reached.

Say “Yes” One More Time

Experienced negotiators know that the simple word “yes” has the power to move a stalled negotiation forward. What this means is that you always want to have another “yes” in your pocket ready to use.

This means that you need to be aware of all of the issues that are being negotiated. There are always some issues that you’ll have no problem agreeing to with the other side. You need to keep a few of these issues off of the negotiating table early on in the discussions.

If things bog down and progress stops, then you’ll know what to do. Bring one of these issues up, say “yes” to them, and watch the negotiations get started once again.

What All Of This Means For You

Every sales negotiation has its own set of highs and lows. There will be times in which you are in synch with the other side of the table and you are able to rapidly make progress on a large number of issues.

However, there will also be times when the negotiations start to drag. When this happens it may seem as though there is no way to move forward. Experienced sales negotiators know that it’s always possible to make progress – you just need to know what to do to get things started again.

We’ve discussed three techniques that you can use: win-win, the path of least resistance, and saying “yes”. Every negotiating situation is different and you’ll need to make the decision as to which technique is going to work the best for you.

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

Question For You: When taking the path of least resistance, do you think that you should come back to the big issue multiple times to see if it has become any easier to resolve?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In every negotiation, you’ll eventually run out of things to say to the other side of the table. I mean, come on, you’ve already said everything. In fact you may have already said everything more than once! You need to be careful when this happens, either side may feel like giving up without having reached an agreement. Never fear, I’ve got 3 techniques that you can use when you encounter this situation that are guaranteed to turn things around:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Caroll March 13, 2012 at 12:08 am

Loved your suggestions Jim;) The win-win approach will always be an effective tool in making our negotiations going. We want to win, and we also want the other party (our customers) to win too. I believe we can have this kind of mutual gain if we are able to address properly each other’s needs and recognize each other’s differences. Thanks!

Reply

Dr. Jim Anderson March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Judy: The really good negotiators spend most of their time during a negotiation trying to find ways to make a deal that will turn out to be even better than both sides thought was possible before the negotiations began…!

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