Every negotiation has its share of secrets. You know things that you don’t want the other side of the table to know and they know things that they don’t want you to know – that’s why we all use so many different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. It’s your job as a negotiator to find out what secrets the other side of the table has before the negotiations start so that you’ll be able to do a better job of negotiating. The trick is how you go about doing this…
What Constraints Is The Other Side Operating Under?
The good news for you is that the other side of the table does not have unlimited options when it comes to negotiating with you. They arrive at the negotiating table with a set of constraints that will provide them (and you) with a set of limits within which they can negotiate.
Your job as a negotiator is to find out what the other side’s constraints are before the negotiations start. These constraints can be based on money, time, or the reputation of either the other negotiator or their firm. You’ve got some questions to be asking the other side in order to find out where their boundaries are.
What Motivates The Other Side?
We all come into a negotiation with a set of things that we want to get out of the negotiations. Yes, yes – we all want a good deal. However, there are often additional things that the other side is going to be trying to get out of the negotiation that we need to be aware of.
In order to find out what motivates the other side, you’ve got to ask them questions. What you are trying to find out is if they are just executing orders from some higher power or if they are invested in the results of the negotiations. You need to find out what in it for them: how will they benefit if you are able to reach a deal with them?
What Are The Weaknesses Of The Other Side?
We all have weaknesses that can limit what we can do during a negotiation. The other side has a set of these and it can significantly boost your ability to get the deal that you want if you can determine what these weaknesses are. The good news is that it’s often easier than you might think to find out what they are.
Once again, asking the right set of questions can cause the other side to reveal their weaknesses. Questions about how they feel about their job, their company, and where their career is going can all provide you with information on their weaknesses. Taking the time to discover weaknesses in the other side will always pay off for you in terms of a quicker negotiation and a better final deal.
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
If you want to be able to get the best deal possible at your next principled negotiation, then you’re going to have to do some detective work. The other side has 3 secrets that you’re going to want to uncover the answer to before the negotiations start. Knowing what secrets to go after is the first step in the process.
Nobody comes to a negotiation without any restrictions. You are going to want to determine what constraints the other side is operating under and how these will impact their negotiating tactics. The motivation(s) of the person that you are negotiating with will also play a key role in the final deal that you’ll be able to reach. Finally, everyone has weaknesses and if you can determine the other side’s weaknesses before the negotiations start then you’ll end up with a better deal at the end.
Answers to all questions are available to you if you’ll just take the time to dig for them before the negotiation starts. So much of what you need is available for the taking if you’ll take the time to uncover it. Play detective before you next negotiations and uncover the answers to the secrets that will lead to a better outcome for you.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: What do you think that you should reveal to the other side before the negotiation start?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
If you are like most negotiators, you wish that you could be perfect. If you were, then you’d never make a mistake and you could do everything that was required in order to land the best deal. In other words, you’d have no negotiating weaknesses. No matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques the other side used, you would always get the deal that you wanted. However, none of us are perfect and so that means that we do have weaknesses. Hiding our weaknesses from the other side of the table is a skill that we all have to develop.