The Negotiator Magazine

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Gamblers know that their counterparts are inclined to give-off "tells," that reveal the quality of their poker hands. For instance, they might scratch their noses, tap their fingers on the table, or take a large in-breath after glancing at their down cards.

In a recent James Bond movie, "Casino Royale," the villain is perceived to have done just this, or did he?

Savvy gamblers and negotiators give "false tells" on purpose to sucker their foes into making catastrophic mistakes. Some are so adept that they can get away with a lot.

I was negotiating the sale of a piece of real estate and I met the buyer along with one of his workmen at the property. He spent a considerable amount of time deriding the place, mentioning every flaw and neighborhood shortcoming.

Then, he made his offer, with utter seriousness, in a flat "Take it or leave it," tone.

I thought he was being sincere, but my Doberman had a different impression.
He growled within a few seconds of hearing the "offer."

"Is he growling at me?" my counterpart asked, obviously shaken by Blue's intrusion into the deal.

"Gee, I don't know," I replied.

Obviously, the guy gave-off something that was there, but I wasn't perceptive enough to pick it up. Nonetheless, I trusted Blue's assessment, and told the guy I'd think over his offer.

Within two weeks, I sold the place for substantially more than what this fellow offered.

What's the moral to the story?

Bring a Doberman to all of your negotiations!

Seriously, train yourself to listen to the whole person and to pick up on clues that you've probably been ignoring.

Not only will you become a better communicator, but you'll get better results in your negotiations.

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 1,000 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered "The Gold Standard" in negotiation, sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. Dr. Goodman can be reached at: gary@customersatisfaction.com.



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June 2007