A Negotiator’s Greatest Friend Is Time

To get what we want from a negotiation takes time
To get what we want from a negotiation takes time
Image Credit:
Karyn Christner

The goal of any negotiation is for us to be able to walk away with the deal that we wanted to get no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques were used. The trick, as we all know, is just exactly how to go about making this happen. It turns out that if we want the other side to agree to our proposals, then we need to give them the time that they need to do it. This concept of acceptance time is critical to negotiations.

Your Next Negotiation Is All About Time

In any negotiation, the idea of both time in general and acceptance time in particular are critical issues. You will not be successful in your next negotiation if you don’t realize this. What we need to understand is that the other side of the table is comfortable with the way that things currently stand and they are comfortable with what they want to get out of the negotiation.

What this means for us is that when we make a proposal as a part of the negotiations, at least initially the other side is not going to be comfortable with what we are proposing. As negotiators what we need to learn to be able to do is to give the other side the time that they are going to need in order to accept what we have proposed to them then we have a real chance that they will be able to walk away from their proposals and start to accept yours.

We are all familiar with the phrase “time is money”. Nowhere is this more evident than when we are negotiating. What we need to understand is that if we are willing to invest more time into a negotiation then we can expect to get a better deal that from the negotiation. As easy as this is to understand, it can often turn out to be quite difficult to do

How To Make Time Work For You

What does time provide us with in a negotiation? If we give it a chance, time can allow us to discover our sources of power during a negotiation. Using time we can determine what tactics the other side is in the process of using on us. Likewise, time allows us to determine what countermeasures we should plan on using. Finally, given enough time the needs and wants of the other side of the table can change during the course of a negotiation and come around to matching what we want to get out of the negotiations.

What the proper use of time can provide you with during a negotiation is information. Information on what the other side really wants to get out of the negotiations. You already know the product and the price that they want, given enough time you can determine everything else that they are seeking.

During a negotiation we often get caught up in the price of what is being discussed. However, what you need to realize is that by using time to your advantage you can determine all of the needs and wants of the other side which are somehow affecting what price they want to get out of the negotiations. It’s going to be up to you to take the time to fully discover what all of the wants of the other side are. Taking the time to discover what the other side really wants will allow you to make sure that the final deal that you strike with them will end up satisfying them.

What All Of This Means For You

As negotiators we are always looking for ways to get the most out of our next principled negotiation. What we want the other side to do is to change their way of thinking and to start to think the way that we do. It turns out that this can happen during a negotiation, we just need to give it enough time.

One of the key ideas that we need to understand about time has to do with acceptance time. We need to give the other side enough time to accept the ideas that we have proposed to them. The more time that we are willing to invest into a negotiation, the better our chances become of getting what we are looking for out of the negotiations. Time gives us a chance to better understand what the other side is looking to get out of the negotiation. It also allows us to get the information that we’ll need to effectively negotiate. Since price is such a big part of every negotiation, we need to understand that we’ll need time to fully understand what factors are influencing the type of price the other side wants.

We may not always realize it, but during a negotiation, time is our friend. Time can reveal all things to us if we are only willing to provide it with a chance to work its magic. During the next negotiation that you find yourself involved in, sit back and allow time to do its work. Don’t always be pushing to close the deal. Instead, let things take their own natural course and you just might be surprised at what time will reveal to you!

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

Question For You: If a negotiation is moving too fast, how could you slow it down so that you had more time?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As we prepare for our next negotiation with all of its negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, it can be all too easy for us to focus on what we want to get out of the negotiation. I mean, that’s really why we’re going to go to the effort of participating, right? It turns out that if this is our thinking, we are overlooking a critical part of the negotiation – understanding what the other side wants. The only way that we’re going to be able to reach a deal with them is if we can figure out what it’s going to take to satisfy them.