3 Ways To Be A Pace Master In Your Next Negotiation

by drjim on June 20, 2014

He who controls the pace, controls the negotiation

He who controls the pace, controls the negotiation
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In your next negotiation, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used, there will be a pace at which the negation moves. One or the other side of the table will be controlling this pace. The big question is will it be you? If you can agree with me that it would be a good thing for you to be in control of the pace of your next negotiation, then we quickly find ourselves moving on to dealing with the question: how can you control the pace of a negotiation?

Take Your Time

Novice negotiators believe that in order to get to the end of the negotiations, they need to reach agreement on the various issues as quickly as possible. Nothing could be further from the truth. What you really want to be doing is taking your time – take your time in agreeing to anything that the other side proposes.

The motivation for this somewhat surprising behavior is that what you want the other side of the table to walk away from the negotiation with is that most elusive of feelings: satisfaction. The only way that you are going to make this happen is to allow them to feel as though they had to work to get you to agree to anything. Take your time and their level of satisfaction will grow.

Being Indecisive Is A Good Thing

All too often in the movies, negotiators in high pressure negotiations are shown as being decisive – making the right decision quickly. In the real world, you actually want to play a different role. You want to come across as being indecisive. The other side should be hearing you say things like “I’m not so sure about that proposal. Let me spend some time thinking about it and I’ll get back to you.”

The reason that you want to appear to be indecisive is because it will cause the negotiations to take longer. The longer that the negotiation goes on, then the more time the other side of the table will have to invest into the negotiations. This means that they’ll be that much less likely to walk away from the negotiations because of the investment that they already have in it. People hate to spend time on something without reaching some sort of a positive outcome.

Say “No” To Quick Negotiations

Every once in a while the other side of the table will show up and indicate that they would like to have a “quick” negotiation with you. They want to see if it would be possible to reach a deal with you, but they don’t want to spend a lot of time on the process. When this happens, you need to push back.

In a quick deal, one or the other side of the table is always going to walk away with a bad deal. It is not possible to build that level of satisfaction when you are working within the constraints of a quick deal. In the rare situation where you can’t get out of doing a quick deal, make sure that you show up better prepared than the other side so that you’ll be the one who gets the best deal.

What All Of This Means For You

Every principled negotiation has a pace and as one of the negotiators who is involved in the negotiation, you would like to be in control of the pace. The trick is in knowing exactly how to control the pace of a negotiation.

The first thing that you have to do is to learn to take your time. The slower that you move, the more time that the other side will end up having to invest in the negotiations. Next you have to become indecisive. Taking your time to make up your mind will result in the other side having to work harder to get what they want. This will make them more satisfied with the results of the negotiation. Finally, you need to stay away from doing so-called “quick” negotiations.

The good thing about the pace of a negotiation is that it can be controlled. Using the three techniques that we’ve discussed, you can take control of how fast or slow your next negotiation moves!

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

Question For You: Do you think that you would ever speed a negotiation up?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Life is filled with deadlines and negotiations are no different. What this means for us negotiators is that we need to find a way to make deadlines work for us, not against us. In order to make this happen, we need to know just a bit about how deadlines work and I know 4 ways that we can make deadlines work for us…

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