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The reality is, people rarely train for and practice the process of negotiating.  Since negotiations are typically a one-time event, once those negotiations end, it’s over, you own the outcome.

Successful sales professionals know their customers well. But often these questions are not considered, creating significant risk in the negotiation process.

  • Is my customer skilled at negotiating?
  • Are they agreeable or disagreeable?
  • Are they subjective or objective?
  • Do they have a roadmap for the negotiation process?

Traditional negotiation training fails to address the science of social influence. This leads to a reactionary approach that’s guided by the fear of losing and not the confidence in winning.   Fortunately, research and behavioral science show us there’s much more to successful negotiation. Below, we will outline the real drives of success to meet the new demands of hard negotiation circumstances in the modern marketplace.

Key takeaways

  1. Effective negotiation requires the integration of mindset, skills, process, and experience using these four essential tools for a positive outcome (in deal terms, getting your fair share)
  2. Agreeableness is a personality trait that tells a lot about the negotiation style of the individual. Understanding your own style is critical to understand how to enter and manage negotiations.
  3. Emotions drive decisions: Linking your negotiation strategy to the customer’s pain points creates significant leverage and the value of your terms to minimize risk and undesired outcomes.

It’s important to recognize that some customers are highly trained to negotiate effectively. The role of purchasing, for example, brings this reality into focus. However, don’t assume that your customer, if not in purchasing, is not skilled. Most likely they have experience with many vendors, and they’re probably getting coached by professionals. Assume every person you negotiate with knows what they are doing. They plan to get favorable terms. They expect you to walk away happy while saying, “Well at least we go the deal”.

Agree to Be Disagreeable – It Leads to Better Outcomes

  • Agreeableness reflects individual differences in concern with cooperation and social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others.
  • Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others’ well-being, and therefore are unlikely to extend themselves for other people.
  • Agreeable people are better liked than disagreeable people. On the other hand, agreeableness is not useful in situations that require tough or objective decisions. Disagreeable people can make excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers.

Emotions are a Superpower When Negotiating

Science has proven, when the human brain experiences a heightened emotional state, IQ is reduced by 10%.  Science also proves people are motivated to act specifically to avoid pain or negative consequence. Risk triggers fear for example. Understanding the fear (real or perceived) of the person you are negotiating with is an important part of developing your Negotiation Plan.

A five-step process for creating a negotiation plan:

  1. Identify your goals and objectives: Clearly define what you want to achieve through the negotiation process. This will help you prioritize your needs and determine what you are willing to compromise on.
  2. Research the other party: Gather as much information as possible about the other party, including their interests, priorities, and decision-making style. This will help you understand their perspective and prepare for potential obstacles.
  3. Prepare your arguments: Develop a clear and compelling case for your position, including data, examples, and other supporting evidence. Be prepared to counter any objections the other party may have.
  4. Determine your bargaining range: Consider the best and worst outcomes you are willing to accept, and determine a range of acceptable solutions. This will help you stay focused and avoid making concessions you are not comfortable with.
  5. Plan for implementation: Consider the logistics of implementing the agreement, including any necessary follow-up or documentation. Be prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure that the agreement is carried out as planned.

By following this process, you can develop a clear and effective negotiation plan that helps you achieve your goals while maintaining a positive relationship with the other party.

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