“You should only seek to negotiate better if you seek to acquire better outcomes in life.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
Are you aware that they’re specific components that go into a good negotiation? Those components determine the probability of a negotiator’s success. If you would like to know how to negotiate better, note the components that follow.
Observe Body Language and Nonverbal Signals:
Being able to accurately detect body language and nonverbal signals allows a negotiator to hear and see the unspoken thoughts of the other negotiator. Most negotiators can detect when “something’s off”. But most miss more signals than they catch.
As the basis to reading body language, understand that one’s body always attempts to stay in a state of comfort. Thus, when a stimulus causes it to be out of that state, the body reacts to being out of balance. Therefore, to note when the body transfers from one state to another, note its cause.
Pre-Negotiation Probing Questions:
Negotiations are about control. It flows between you and the other negotiator throughout the negotiation. You can control that flow through questions.
Before engaging in the negotiation process, ask yourself deeply seeded probing questions (e.g. what you’re seeking from the negotiation, why do you want the outcome, what will you do if you can’t achieve it, what does a winning/losing outcome look like, etc.). The purpose of this is to uncover hidden thoughts that might drive your actions at the negotiation table. You should also put yourself in the shoes of the other negotiator and pose similar questions from his perspective.
Be prepared to address the following occurrences in the negotiation.
Opening: Start by making sure that you and the other negotiator know what you’re negotiating for. Do this at the beginning of the negotiation by stating your understanding. You’d be surprised at the number of miscommunications that occur due to the negotiators not being on the same page.
Dealing with offers:
The first offer – Depending on your negotiation abilities, you can make the first offer – it will set an anchor. The tradeoff about making or not making the first offer really lies in your abilities to out-negotiate the other negotiator, due to the anchoring effect that the first offer provides.
Counteroffers – Make counteroffers with the degree of deliberation required for the situation. If the offer has a substantial bearing on the negotiation, don’t give the impression of countering it with haste. Remember, you’re conveying subliminal messages through your actions throughout the negotiation.
Take it or leave it – Don’t make this offer unless you’re serious about exiting the negotiation. This type of offer has a sense of hardening a negotiation if it’s not accepted. It also places you in a difficult position if you must retreat from it.
What if – The ‘what if’ offer can be used to test the other negotiator. It’s akin to being behind a shield. Because, if the other negotiator does not accept your offer, you’re not obligated to commit to it. Plus, you gain insight into his thoughts per what he will or will not accept.
Closing – You should be very vigilant in the closing phase of the negotiation. It’s the point that some negotiators make concessions to keep the deal together. Thus, savvy negotiators will take the opportunity to make a ‘slight’ request at that time. All the time, they’ve been planning for just this moment to do so.
As you know, they’re many moving parts to a negotiation. Thus, the more you can flow with the altering terrain that occurs, the greater the chances of success. Utilize the insights above and you’ll heighten that probability … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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