Business Negotiation - Avoid 5 common mistakes
It is not about winning
Stop trying to beat an opponent you don't have. It is not always about the word no, even though it has great power it can turn a negotiation sour in a second. If you listen then your PARTNER will give you clues as to what they need. Why not help them, and they will help you. A collaborative approach will get you much further and finding the win win will make the whole process easier and more successful. If you think there is going to be a NO at some stage, work through the YES factors first. As Tom Savage says “view the other party not as an enemy to be vanquished or as a friend to be cajoled but as a colleague involved with you in solving a shared problem!”.
Don't mix the issue with the person
It's all about the people. It doesn't matter what business you are in, or how big the deal is. People buy people, so connect. Separate the emotions from the issues. If you attack the person, or get involved in a power struggle your negotiation will be lost. Understand the perspective of each party and their needs..this will make the deal happen.
Don't over commit
If the deal is right then the deal is right. If it's wrong then it's wrong. Don't over commit yourself to part of the deal that your're not able to deliver on because it may make the whole deal worthless to you. Many people chase a deal with undeliverable outcomes, one thing is for sure, it's the last deal you'll make together.
Silence is Golden
Is binn béal ina thost.. most old Irish proverbs are still true today. Be quiet, then when you think you've listened enough be quiet again and listen some more. Never fill the silence, this is when much is given away. By listening you will actually hear what the other party wants and needs and you'll understand the deal. If somebody needs to give way a little, it happens in the silence. Be silent and let somebody else fill the gap. In a high value negotiation with a group ofsenior civil servants we sat in silence while one of them asked for the same thing 4 or 5 times and his friends sat in horror. It wasn't even a big deal to us but by God ir was important to him. So we knew exactly what he needed to get the deal done and we got what we wanted..... the pay. We were expecting something much much different, had a whole range of other issues we'd prepared for. We were about to answer the questions that weren't being asked. Wow the silence worked, so we tried it again, and it worked again.
Straight lines aren't always faster
If you have a singular target and no flexibility, you may not get where you need to go. Think on your feet, do it quick and make alternatives that are creative. They create the space and show some movement on your behalf, this brings movement from your partner.
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The Mediation Practice
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