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|Negotiating Skills Give Both Players Part of the Win
"Interesting," he responded. "I'll give the owner a call and see what he thinks. Of course, as you know, we don't have any obligation to do anything. But we always try to take excellent care of our customers and want you to be fully satisfied."
Several days later, the store manager called to say the owner agreed to give us a full credit in his store, minus the delivery charge they had previously incurred.
I love presenting my negotiation counterparts with various options and ways we can mutually satisfy our interests. Why?
One, this empowers my counterparts and gives them a sense of ownership over the ultimate result. Parties will be more likely to be satisfied and fully comply with something they choose, as opposed to a result they feel has been imposed upon them.
In almost all cases, you want your counterpart to walk away satisfied. Presenting options helps ensure this feeling. Give your counterpart the power to choose. It will help you in the long-run.
Two, the act of presenting options to your counterpart often portrays you as a fair and reasonable person. It puts that "fair" hat on your head, an important consideration for your negotiation reputation.
It is effectively the opposite of giving an ultimatum, which tends to make others defensive and lessens the likelihood of any deal.
Finally, presenting various options increases the likelihood of reaching agreement, as it provides your counterparts with the ability to satisfy their most critical interests.
It also increases the likelihood of reaching a result that creates additional value for both parties, the one that truly "expands the pie."
Let's say a used furniture store offers to sell a couch for $2,000 -- but gives customers the option to either pay cash now or finance it at a below-market 5 percent interest rate over one year.
Alternatively, assume the store simply offers to sell the same couch for $2,000 cash now -- with no below-market financing option.
If I'm in the middle of a cash-flow crunch and I only have the cash option, I may not even purchase the couch. Or, I may pay the $2,000 now but be less pleased overall than if I had the option to finance it at a below-market interest rate.
On the other hand, if I'm in the middle of a cash-flow crunch, and I have the option to pay cash or finance it at a below-market rate, I likely will finance the purchase.
With this option, I can satisfy both my cash-flow interest and my interest in the couch. I will thus be more pleased overall than if I only had the cash option.
So how can you take full advantage of the power of options?
The store delivered our new bedroom set last week. Interestingly, of all the options available at the store, and there were many, it was the only set that satisfied both my wife's interests and my own.
We are both thankful for that.
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|Copyright ©2004,Marty Latz|
|Copyright ©2004, The Negotiator Magazine|