From the Peak Your Profits!® newspaper column by:
Jeff Blackman, J.D., CSP, CPAE
© Blackman & Associates, LLC
A negotiation is an evolutionary process. It changes with the introduction of a new objective or an unexpected decision-maker.
Therefore, planned spontaneity or preparation combined with flexibility and creativity are crucial to your success.
The following strategies maximize your success and results.
- Negotiate only with those who have authority to make a decision.
- Attempt to accommodate or satisfy the needs of all involved in the negotiation.
- Anticipate and be prepared to make value concessions, NOT price concessions, and only if necessary.
- Know your objectives, limits and expectations, and don’t compromise them.
- Know your decision-maker’s goals, objectives and expectations, and understand them.
- Identify the strengths of you, your company, your product or service and be ready to communicate them. Calmly. Convincingly. Persuasively. Passionately.
- Look at the big picture, the long-term, not the quick hit.
- When the judge rules in your favor, get out of the court! Or said another way, when you get a favorable decision, say thank you and leave!
- When your customer, client or prospect suggests a perceived win-win alternative and you know it helps him or her, yet really benefits you, don’t lick your chops. (And never agree to anything that’s unfair, amoral, illegal or unethical.)
- Respect confidentiality.
- Always try to finish the negotiation on a “positive.”
- Do your homework, have a plan, it helps you be confident and in control.
- The more participants or decision-makers you have to deal with, the longer it’ll take to hear “The Yes.”
- The fewer participants or decision-makers, usually the sooner you’ll hear “The Yes.”
- If there’s “bad” news, get it out early, don’t delay.
- The best time to get something, is when you give something.
- Be aware of deadlines, real vs. assumed.
- Negotiate “fresh,” get a good night’s sleep, avoid alcohol beforehand. Terminate a marathon negotiating session by simply setting a time for the next session.
- Know how to respond to a totally unacceptable offer, either with a question, the twitch…which is physical or auditory disbelief, or silence.
- Continue to get affirmation or agreement on the issues.
- Promise a lot and deliver more. Deliver something unexpected, yet of value and appreciated. Never promise anything without delivering it.
- Be organized, and look and stay organized.
- Whenever possible, negotiate in-person.
- When more than one decision-maker is present, acknowledge all of them.
- Be wary of the decision-maker who appears dumb. It could be a ploy.
- Be willing to walk away from a bad deal.
Remember, a successful win-win negotiation is characterized by positive attitudes, relationships and impressions.
Mark McCormack, author of What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School and a one-time guest on my radio talk-show told me, “One of life’s big frustrations is that people don’t do what you want them to do. But if you can control their impressions of you, you can make them want to do, what you want them to do.”
To help others do, what you want them to do, here are five more bonus negotiation profit points:
- Provide solutions, not confrontations.
- Acknowledge all prospects’ or customers’ concerns, and assure them you understand the importance of their decision.
- Isolate the obstacles. Discover exactly what’s delaying a customer’s decision.
- Ask your prospects and clients for their opinions, suggestions and ideas, as to the best way to resolve the situation.
- Let prospects and customers know you want them to make a wise decision, they won’t regret.
REFERRALS: Where Else? When Else? →
Byline: Jeff Blackman
Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller), and the new, revised 5th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults