When you are involved in a sales negotiation, just exactly how should you behave? For some odd and unexplained reason, a lot of us think that we need to be stoic statues who never show any emotion. Wait a minute. We’re involved in a sales negotiation where we are trying to get the best deal for our side.We’re not playing poker and trying to hide our reactions to our cards. Maybe it would be helpful to have a talk with some Italians to find out how we can become better negotiators…
The Italian Way Of Negotiating…
So first off, no, not everyone negotiates the same way no matter where they may come from. However, when it comes to negotiations,there are distinct styles that can be easily recognized when you encounter them. We can all learn important negotiating techniques from each style.
Simply put, the Italian style of negotiating is to be very expressive during the negotiation – the negotiator may or may not be expressing their true emotion; however, they are always broadcasting some type of emotion.
The part that is the most important to the rest of us is the simple fact that in the Italian style of negotiating you as the negotiator need to react to what the other side is saying in a visible way.
Why Your Reactions Are So Important
When you get right down to it, sales negotiations are simply a specialized form of business communications. Note that I said “communications”. Although we tend to rely on our spoken words to communicate what we want the other side to understand, the reality is that we have a number of different ways to get our point across.
When you use the Italian style of negotiating, you involve your entire body in the negotiations. I’m not talking about going crazy here, but rather using your body to provide the other side with very clear feedback so that they can react in the way that you want them to.
The easiest and simplest example of this is when the other side presents you with a price. You might be tempted to look at the price and then put on your”poker face”and not let the other side know what you are thinking. But wait a minute, if you think that their price is too high and you think that you can get them to go lower, then you’ve got to let them know.
How you communicate your dissatisfaction with their price is where the Italian style of negotiating comes in. You’ve got a lot of options to choose from here. You can roll your eyes, you can throw your arms up, you can let out an exasperated sigh, etc. This probably is not a good time to get up and walk out, but that is always another option that you have.
What you are doing is using your body to provide the other side with clear and easy to understand feedback immediately. This will allow them to more quickly react and come back to the table with an updated offer.
What All Of This Means For You
Sales negotiating is all about establishing clear communications with the other side of the table. When we keep a stone face and display no emotions during a negotiation, we’ve cut off a critical communication path.
The Italian style of sales negotiations allows us to use our bodies to provide the other side of the table with clear,immediate feedback on how we think that the negotiations are going. Using our faces, hands, and entire body we can react to proposals make by the other side.
There is a note of caution that needs to shared here: you don’t want to come across like the actor Jim Carrey. Instead, use the Italian technique when you think that it will help you move closer to closing a deal. Just take the time to ask yourself, “How would Marco Polo react to that proposal?”…
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that you have to speak loudly when using the Italian technique?