Have you ever been in the middle of a negotiation which appears to be going well, only to find the whole procedure suddenly stalls and spins out of control? Often, the answer to this is simpler than you think. There are certain keywords which invoke emotions, often changing a person’s mindset. The following words are all trigger words, and some might actually ruin your negotiation if you’re not being careful.
“Need” is a fairly unassuming word used regularly in our everyday conversations. The problem in a negotiation is that it starts a thinking process in the other party. “Need” might have been used to show that this is a priority. It brings an image of essential to survive. This can lead to the following question – what if you do not have or get it, does this mean you cannot survive. Ultimately, if you cannot survive you are dead. That certainly bits a new spin on the debate! Suddenly, your negotiation may become stressful with a serious emotional element, and it is no longer possible to make clear business decisions.
The best intentions can start with wanting the other party to “understand” what you are suggesting and how it can improve life for everyone. The problem arises as you spend a lengthy amount of time going through the concepts and ideas, hoping they will understand. In a very good meeting, opponents and collaborators may completely grasp and support your ideas. In an average meeting they might end up more confused than they were in the beginning.
Instead of being able to make a decision they will need to research or get further advice. This means no decision is made and the meeting was a waste of time. If the meeting has gone really badly, the other party will now claim to understand and may do so. In the process, they have thought of ten or twenty objections and issues with your suggestion. Suddenly, you are much worse off than before the meeting.
The issue here is that providing too much information will inevitably lead to objections, these can create a stalemate situation. The more you try to get them to understand the more the natural human reaction of ‘digging your feet in’ happens. A good negotiator will paint a vision of the future and appeal to fruitful emotions to make a decision.
Believe it or not, “no” is not a word you want to say over and over again in a negotiation. “No, we don’t need this”, “No, this is non-negotiable”, “Our final answer is no”. By stressing out on the importance of this word, you create tension. A negative vibe will materialize, and the whole meeting can end badly. It’s best to avoid the word, or at least work around it. “We’re not declining your offer; we’re just taking some time to reconsider it”. Maintain a professional attitude, because you have better chances of creating a mutual agreement.
Negotiation is a skill
You will need to learn to create a vision of the future in the other party, not with facts and figures but with emotion. The emphasis needs to be on positive words, allowing them to see the solution to their problem. Avoid muddling them with words, tactics and explanations. Focusing on the problem will never assist in resolving it. You must ensure they can see your vision for fixing the issues, and give them a clear course of action to take.
All decisions are fundamentally made by ‘seeing’. To make a decision we need to be able to mentally see the solution. It is an everyday occurrence. In our daily lives, we frequently see the answer to a problem; we have a moment of clarity and can see the right path to take. They are all images in our head. To successfully close a business negotiation there should be plenty of references to seeing things; this creates the link to remind the mind that it is capable if envisioning the solution. With the other party now looking in the same direction as you, focused on a fantastic vision of the future you will have completed your job. The details are not important; the results will speak for themselves.
Professional post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!