"Negotiate More Effectively By Knowing How To Act Better" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Do you plan how you’ll #act when you #negotiate? What #role do you decide you’ll play? Knowing the right role to display will allow you to negotiate better. Although you can’t predict every circumstance that you’ll encounter in a negotiation, the better prepared you are, the better your act will be.

Your act:

Everyone plays a role during a negotiation. And, your role should align with how you wish the other negotiator to perceive you; that’s your act. You should not view it as bad or inauthentic; it’s an act. If it’s misaligned, you run the risk of weakening your position. As an example, you shouldn’t become a bully if you’ve been playing the role of someone that’s helpful. That would be a misalignment.

Consider the following and keep in mind that you can morph from one act to another. Just be sure there’s an easily perceived reason for doing so.

  • Nonchalant

You can adopt this act to project a ‘no-care’ attitude (i.e. if it happens, fine – if it doesn’t, fine). You might employ this demeanor when you wish to confuse the other negotiator about your real interest in what he’s offering. Make sure not to become unmasked by being too deep into the role. Because a fleeting offer may disappear before you can shift acts.

  • Defiant

“I won’t accept that offer under any circumstances!” Be cautious when adopting this act. It can leave you in a position that’s difficult to retreat from. While this can be a good tactic, if it’s overused and you must concede, you’ll be weaker throughout the rest of the negotiation.

To combat the perception of being in a weaker position, consider feigning momentary hopelessness. It’ll lend credence to your act. But you must attempt to regain your defiant act, be it from a less entrenched position, to regain your position. You’ll only be able to use the hopelessness ploy once, twice if you’re overly convincing. So, be mindful of how and when you employ it. If you do so too early in the negotiation, you’ll lessen its effect later. If you do it too late, you’ll bring additional scrutiny upon your act.

  • Helpful

Most people like helping people. It’s a characteristic that’s pleasing. It’s also a characteristic that some people despise. Thus, you must know when to be a helpful actor and when to drop the act.

Dominant negotiators, the bullying type, tend not to want help. They already know what’s good for the negotiation. From their perspective, your insights will only hinder the process.

Invoke the helpful act with collaborative negotiator types. They seek input to promote win-win negotiation outcomes. To better effect this act, consider when you’ll lead and when you’ll follow. To follow, ask the other negotiator for her opinion. Then, build on it. To lead, present a non-threatening offer and ask your collaborator what she thinks of it. Build on what she says.

  • Dominant

Most people don’t like to be dominated; it places too many restrictions on them. Nevertheless, acting dominantly versus someone that’s savvy and in control can have its benefits. The difference lies in whether you’re perceived as being overbearing, strong-willed, or just knowledgeable. To effect this act, attune yourself to the other negotiator’s perception. There can be hidden value in this role. Knowing how and when to uncover that value makes it more valuable.

The stage you’re in, in the negotiation, should direct how you act. Like a good director, if you time your actions appropriately, your actions will be more believable. That will lead to more winning negotiation outcomes… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

"How To Negotiate Better By Knowing What Value Is" Negotiation Tip of the Week

What do you know about value?

“… I’m so sorry for your inconvenience. I can upgrade you to a better room.” Those were the words spoken by a front desk person at a 5-star hotel. He was informing a guest of what he could do as the result of the patron experiencing a restless night. The patron’s restlessness was due to his loud neighbors in other rooms on the floor. The patron had begun calling the front desk around 12-midnight to complain. Throughout the night, he called several more times – all to no avail to squelch the noise that prevented him from sleeping. He thought to himself, and this yammering is ceaseless.

When he checked out of the hotel the next morning, he told the desk manager of his experience. The manager extended apologies on behalf of the hotel, stated that the night’s stay would be removed from the guest’s bill and asked if there was anything else that he could do. The patron said no. I appreciate the gestures you’ve made. Then he said, “all I wanted was a good night’s sleep. I have an important meeting today. And I just wanted to be fresh and well-rested.” As he left the hotel, he wondered if he’d ever stay at that location again.

Do you see the difference between how the front desk person and the desk manager addressed the situation? It’s slight. But it’s also powerful. The desk manager extended apologies, and he asked the guest if there was anything else that he could do. He was seeking the guest’s perspective of value. In other words, he wanted to know what was essential to the guest. If you don’t know what someone values, you don’t know what to offer them. That means you’re making blind offers when doing so in a negotiation.

When you negotiate, there are five factors to keep in mind about value.

  1. People have a different perspective on what they value and why. Once you know their value perspective, seek to understand it.
  1. Don’t assume because someone is like you that they’ll like you. Even when people have similar values, there will be nuances that separate their opinions about value. To assume you share exact ideals as your negotiation counterpart can lead to offers and counteroffers that are not valued. In a worst-case scenario, such offers can be damaging to your negotiation efforts.
  1. When you’re unsure of a person’s value, ask what they’d least like to lose. The reply will indicate what is of most importance.
  1. To test someone about their value, ask, “if there’s one thing that I could grant you in this negotiation, what would it be?” Once again, that person’s value proposition will reside in their response.
  1. This last suggestion may fall into the red herring category. It entails discovering something you possess that’s of great value to the other negotiator. Entice that person to believe that he can acquire it but at a very high cost. The higher he’s willing to pay for the acquisition, the higher the value of possessing it will be. Be cautious when engaging this means of acquiring someone’s value perspective. If you don’t allow them to receive it after getting them to make substantial offers, they could become unwilling to grant you much after that. Then, the negotiation might hit a roadblock.

To become a better negotiator, you must always understand what is of value to your negotiation counterpart. Once you do, making better offers will be more comfortable – because you’ll know which offers possess the highest value… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at [email protected]