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As the year draws to a close, and before you make your New Year’s resolutions, it is often the perfect time to reflect on how to negotiate more successfully whether in your business or personal life. Black Swan Group CEO and former top FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss reveals women (and men) often take themselves hostage in a negotiation before it even actually gets underway.
If you’ve ever wondered what might be stymieing your success, Voss explains that to reach a successful outcome, negotiations need to be process driven versus emotionally driven. Working with executives and corporations worldwide, Voss teaches a three-step, often counter-initiative approach to tackle business negotiations so you and your company can achieve the results that make a difference. It just might move your career and personal life forward in new and unexpected ways.
Step 1. More Homework Not Less. How you start a negotiation is critical. Step one is to gather enough information to have a feel for what a good-deal or personal agreement might look like. Voss counsels negotiation is an “information gathering process, in addition to an information using process” that should be broken down into a subset of detailed questions. Poll your peers, subordinates and boss for information as leadership by influence is quickly becoming the today’s most effective negotiation and management style.
First, you need to know if the deal is an illusion or if it is real. Apparently, many business executives engage in negotiations simply to confirm the current status quo. They have no intention of changing anything for you or agreeing to a deal.
Two, ask yourself if you are the “rabbit?” Voss explains people are often looking to play you off against their first choice or deal favorite. They need a “rabbit” (a fool who will never get the deal) to offer or get better terms. If you don’t know who the fool in the game is, it’s probably you.
Third. Do you really know what the best deal is? Your counterpart is sitting, not just on information you don’t have (and need) but also on their own evaluation of that information. Knowing those things is vital to a deal. It will predict their performance (and yours) in the execution of the agreement.
Step 2: You Think “Yes” Is Success. It’s Not. It’s often a “counterfeit-yes” as a form of negotiation or deal avoidance. “How” is success. Voss recommends putting yourself in a position to “get to how” instead of “yes.” Apparently the problem with yes is as soon as you start driving for a “yes” people feel like they are being led into a trap. You’ve probably experienced that yourself.
Every salesperson on the planet has read about “Momentum Selling” or “The Yes Momentum” where each “yes” is “allegedly” a “micro-agreement” that ties the victim (prospect) down. They literally can’t get out of the big commitment “yes” at the end. Voss says “This is nonsense. If it wasn’t, you’d own 8 time shares, 15 coupon books, 5 used cars and every gym membership on the planet.” The issue is you don’t know how to “get to yes” without getting “yes” along the way.
Instead, Voss recommends building a rock solid approach by getting “that’s right” out of your counterpart. Voss also advises, “Don’t be fooled by ‘that’s right’s’ evil twin ‘you’re right.’ “You’re right” is what people say to someone who they really want to preserve a relationship with while shutting down the dialogue. Remember, if you hear that phrase, it’s your tip off that everything you’re saying is falling on deaf ears. Pivot.
Step 3: 95% of Negotiations Require These Three Strategies. It’s always tempting to want to bring a deal to closure as soon as you can. We live in a time-sensitive world and there’s nothing more satisfying then checking something off a list. Voss counsels the real killer of your time is actually spent chasing deals you’ll never get or fixing bad deals.
Instead, delay to save time and use these three interactions to get closer to a mutual agreement. The one caveat according to Voss is “You will never nail more than two of these in any meeting or phone call. If you think you did, you missed something.”
- Make sure to relationship build using the “that’s rights” strategy. The objective is define and confirm the true intentions of what’s on the table.
- Tease out the indicators of a better deal. If you’ve ever wondered why some deals work over the long haul and others don’t, implementation is where the money is made. Profit doesn’t happen when a deal is inked – it happens when the deal is implemented.
- Nail “how.” This is why roughly 50% of the deals that are agreed to by many companies don’t go through. The negotiators involved get to “yes” without paying any attention to “how.” Then the implementation teams on either side of the deal ask, “What!? How are we supposed to do this?” Raise your deal-implementation batting average above your competition by getting to and discussing the “how” before everyone else does.
Ask these critical “how’s” (and any more you may need): How will you be involved? How do you see this working? How do the people on your side see implementing this? How will we stay on track? How will we address things if we find ourselves off-track? How would you like to proceed?
Finally, summarize the answers to get to those two magic words “That’s right.” Now, you can make it rain.
December 27, 2018 at 01:07PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs