The article is written by Davis Miller. He writes about business, negotiation, sales and many other similar topics. His site, www.thegappartnership.us, provides workshop for negotiation.
You’re there, that deadlock where negotiations have faltered and there’s
nothing more to say. Or is there? A seasoned negotiator knows that there are
ten ways you could still seal that deal:
1. Suggest a break. Although this sounds like a cop-out, it’s good psychology. Using the “let’s take a coffee break and come back to this” approach allows you to sweep the other party along for joint refreshments. Keep conversation friendly and low key, giving the other party a chance to get to know you on another level ~ at the very least, you’ll go back into the negotiations refreshed and with a greater understanding of the person you’re negotiating with.
2. Context is everything but it’s easy to get caught up in looking at things from one direction only, so try a different approach. For example, if the stalemate relates to costs, shift negotiations in the direction of terms or time-frame. This alters the focus but still keeps things moving along whilst both parties gain time to quietly re-consider those costing options.
3. If you have the upper hand in the negotiations but have hit a stalemate, then suggest a cooling-off period. It’s a risky strategy which isn’t recommended if you’re not in the driving seat, but if you are negotiating a deal that’s of greater importance to the other person, the chances are that suggesting an adjournment will re-open those immediate negotiations. However, do ensure you make the suggestion in a friendly, respectful way which is not dismissive or rude ~ you never know how much you might need this business in the future.
4. Be honest about what exactly the stumbling block is for you and why you are unable to relent in that area. This will invite the other person to do the same, in which case you are both still negotiating in a way which might allow you to identify a mutual adjustment and shared solution.
5. Consider how much you want this negotiation to work and what is the smallest compromise that you could make in order to secure this deal. If the compromise is possible, then offer it and move things along.
6. Be aware of your future prospects and dealings with your opposing number. Is it worth it to you to offer not just compromises, but sacrifices, in order to secure the deal and future business, a business equivalent of the retail ‘loss-leader’?
7. Ask for a legal opinion on the proposed contract. Most people respect the legalities of business and understand that this is a regular part of business agreements. In this instance, it not only keeps the negotiations open where they may have faltered, but also buys both parties valuable breathing space in which to reconsider those sticky areas.
8. However difficult the negotiations have become, don’t be trite or unprofessional in your dialogue. Using phrases such as “I hear what you’re saying but ...” imply that you are actually rejecting their points. Turn this on its head by looking for joint solutions in a “so what can we do to make this work ...?” kind of way, which shows that you’re not only listening but also trying to make things work in a professional and courteous manner.
9. Talk business. Literally, steer the conversation away from the sticking points and onto the greater topic of future business you could do together. Nothing helps encourage compromise more than the promise of future business and now’s the time to remind your colleague about this.
10. Keep something up your sleeve. Always go into a negotiation with a little something you could use for leeway, a special offer, deal or discount which can come into play as a ‘thank you’ for sealing the deal then and there. This in itself can often
make the deal happen.
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