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Persuasion – How to Use It in the Negotiation Process

“To become more persuasive, magnify your subject’s needs. Also, know how and when to give or take those needs away.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“I attempted to coddle him as a method of persuasion. It didn’t work! He told me to put my offer where the sun doesn’t shine. I was speechless!”

What forms of persuasion do you use in your negotiation process? Every negotiator attempts to motivate her opponent through persuasion.

When considering how you’ll persuade another negotiator, you must consider her personality type, the situation you’re in, and the negotiation environment. Those variables will have a large impact on your use of persuasion in the negotiation process.

The following are a few thoughts to consider when deciding how you’ll address those variables in your negotiations.

Personality Type:

In the opening scenario, it appears the negotiator used the wrong form of persuasion – and was harshly admonished. Here’s something to consider when attempting to persuade someone based on their personality type.

  • Takeaway – Most people are more motivated by a fear of loss. That means, they’ll protect what they’ve gained rather than risking its loss for greater gains.
  • You can assess someone’s risk adversity by extending an offer of something they want, making it conditional upon their immediate acceptance, and taking it off the table if they decline. Later in the negotiation, make reference to that offer and observe their reaction. If they give an inkling of wanting it, they’re displaying the effect that the takeaway had. Even if they do accept the offer, you will have gained insight into the degree of risk adversity that they’re willing to undergo. You can use that insight throughout the negotiation.

Negotiation Situation:

Every negotiation is shaped by the value sought. That means the degree of effort applied is based on the perceived value and expectations of the outcome. Thus, if there’s a low expectation of value, the need to persuade or dissuade will be in direct correlation to that expectation. Keep that in mind when utilizing the following thought.

  • What losses have the other negotiator incurred in the past and what effect did they have on him – Having this insight allows you to invoke the painful memories of what occurred in the past. Your subconscious suggestion is, you don’t want that to happen again, do you? You can also use that information as a lever to persuade him from not straying into dangerous negotiation waters.
  • Different situations will influence the need to project different behaviors. Understanding the conditional behavior that shapes that mindset will indicate whether to use coddling or disdaining tools of persuasion.

Negotiation Environment:

The negotiation environment plays a huge factor in your ability to persuade someone. You can use surroundings to summon past emotional experiences. To do so consider these questions …

  • Who else is in the environment and what influencing persuasion is their presence casting on the other negotiator?
  • What has been the experience in the past that the other negotiator has had in environments like this?

Subliminally, we’re moved to adopt certain actions based on the environment. Thus, some actions would not be adopted if the surroundings were different. Having control of these variables allows you to project a greater degree of persuasion.

Other Things to Consider:

There are other things to take into account when assessing how you’ll be more persuasive in your negotiation. Such as …

  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Culture
  • Position (superior vs. subordinate)

I will address the above variables in a later article.

As you can see, there are many ways to use persuasion in a negotiation. Above are just a few of those ways. There’s one thing that’s irrefutable, if you misuse your efforts of persuasion, you’ll diminish your negotiation efforts. To lessen that probability and to enhance your chances of having a more successful negotiation outcome, consider implementing the thoughts above … 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

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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Negotiators: Negotiate Better – Know How to Use Words Right

“Good negotiators listen for what’s not said, in order to hear words right.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

People’s thoughts give life to the words they use to influence others. Thus, their words move people to actions. As a negotiator, to negotiate better, know how to use words right.

Using His Words:

When engaged in a negotiation, listen to the words used by the other negotiator and the way he uses those words. As an example, he makes the statement, “I only want to address one thing at a time.” Later in the negotiation, if he asks you to address multiple items/situations simultaneously, you can state, “I only want to address one thing at a time.” Citing his own words as justification for your actions will psychologically put him into a state of reflection. Note his body language to discern the effect that your words have on him (e.g. leans back resting towards one side of his body, laying a pen/pencil down/aside, looking up into the air). Any such signals will serve as validation that he’s taking your words into his thought process.

Emphasized and Changing Words:

During a negotiation, the opposing negotiator will emphasize certain words. Listen for them. Through his action, he’s denoting the importance that word has in his thought process. You can use that insight to reposition your negotiation efforts to fit the altering situation based on the way he’s thinking.

As an example, if he begins a statement by saying, “Weeee, I think I can do it.” Note the word choice change from ‘we’ to ‘I’. Plus, note how he drew ‘weeee’ out. While making that change, he was likely considering to what degree he’d have to rely on others. By changing his words, he displayed his belief that he has greater control over producing the outcome in question. That display gives you insight into where he believes his abilities lie in that situation. You can clone it by posing similar questions to move him in the direction of your needs throughout the negotiation. That insight will also allow you to cite his pride of authority and position him as such. Then, if you reach a point of decision and he refers to his need to consult others, remind him of what he’s implied about his authority. Even if he states the situation at hand is above his authority, you will have uncovered his limits.

Unspoken Words:

People say a lot through the words they don’t use. Thus, what’s not said can be more important than what’s said. It too gives insight into their thoughts.

During a negotiation, closely observe the word choice used by the other negotiator to convey his thoughts and offers. Consider what he’s not saying and why he may not be using specific words. If you sense he’s attempting to prevent you from uncovering something, ask him about it. Use the words that you believe he’s not saying and observe his reaction. If his reaction is one of dismissiveness, pay attention. You may have stumbled upon a point that requires greater probing.

When people hesitate, pause, or alter their words, they’re giving you insight into their shifting mindset. That shift represents a change in their thinking. If you’re astute, you’ll observe the cause of that action and use it to advantage the negotiation.

From the way you use words to convey your offers, to the way you use the opposing negotiator’s words to shape his perspective, if you use words right in a negotiation you’ll experience greater negotiation outcomes … 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

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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