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Remember, it's the timing of the concession that counts, not the size. The concession can be ridiculously small and still be effective. Using this Gambit, Power Negotiators can make the other person feel good about giving in to them.
Never, ever gloat. Never, when you get through negotiating, say to the other person, "Harry, you know, if you'd hung in there a little bit longer, I was prepared to do this and this and this for you." Harry's going to say unkind things about your mommy when you do that.
I realize that in the normal course of business you'd never be foolish enough to gloat over the other person because you felt you out-negotiated him. However, you get into trouble with this one when you're negotiating with someone you know really well. Perhaps you've been playing golf with this person for years. Now you're negotiating something. You both know you're negotiating and you're having fun playing the game. Finally, he says to you, "All right. We're all agreed on this and we're not going to back out, but just for my own satisfaction, what was your real bottom line there?" Of course you are tempted to brag a little, but don't do it. He will remember that for the next 20 years.
Always when you're through negotiating-congratulate. However poorly you think the other people may have done, congratulate them. Say, "Wow. Did you do a fantastic job negotiating with me. I realize that I didn't get as good a deal as I could have done, but frankly, it was worth it because I learned so much about negotiating. You were brilliant." You want the other person to feel that he or she won in the negotiations.
Have you ever watched attorneys in court? They'll cut each other to ribbons inside the courtroom. However, outside you'll see the district attorney go up to the defense attorney and say, "Wow, were you brilliant in there. You really were. True your guy got 30 years, but I don't think anybody could have done a better job than you did." The district attorney understands that he'll be in another courtroom one day with that same defense attorney, and he doesn't want the attorney feeling that this is a personal contest. Gloating over a victory will just make the attorney more determined than ever to win the rematch.
Similarly, you will be dealing with that other person again. You don't want her remembering that she lost to you. It would make her only more determined to get the better of you in a rematch.
Key points to remember:
1. If the other person is proud of his ability to negotiate, his egotistical need to win may stop you from reaching agreement.
2. Position the other person to feel good about giving in to you with a small concession made just at the last moment.
3. Because timing is more important than the size of the concession, the concession can be ridiculously small and still be effective.
4. Always congratulate the other person when you get through negotiating, however poorly you think he or she did.
Roger Dawson, CSP, CPAE is one of North Americaís top negotiating experts and a leading sales and management speaker. He is the author of "Secrets of Power Negotiating" which is one of the biggest selling audiocassette programs ever published. His latest book "Power Negotiating for Salespeople" is now in bookstores and a must read for Realtors. For information about Rogerís Keynote presentations and training sessions, contact the Frog Pond Group at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright Notice: Copyright© 2002, Roger Dawson. All rights reserved.
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Copyright © 2002, The Negotiator Magazine