How to Concede To Get The Greatest Negotiation Impact – Negotiation Tip of the Week

How do you concede to get the greatest impact when negotiating? Do you concede quickly, or do you concede based on the flow of the negotiation? The latter should be the answer, and you should never concede without giving thought to where such action will lead.

The following are thoughts to consider before conceding in a negotiation.

Should you get something when conceding?

Some negotiators believe you should receive something for every concession you make. It sends a message to the other negotiator that he’ll have to give something to get something. If you subscribe to that theory, the question becomes, at what point do you ‘get something’? Should you do so at the time of the concession, or let your concessions accumulate, before cashing in your chits? The timing of your actions should be based on the flow of the negotiation and the style of the negotiator you’re negotiating with. That’s to say, if you’re negotiating with a negotiator that has a hard style of negotiating (i.e. I win, you lose), extract a toll for every concession you make. You’ll signal that you’re not a pushover, while indicating that he’ll have to earn what you give him. If you’re negotiating with a negotiator that has an easy style of negotiating (i.e. go along to get along), you can let your concessions accumulate. You’ll build trust with this type of negotiator. Just make sure that he reciprocates appropriately when you seek a concession. If he doesn’t, revert to a one-for-one ratio (i.e. get every time you give).

How to use numbers to influence concessions.

Quick, in three seconds, what’s the dollar difference between $2,100 and $1,990. At first glance, did it seem larger than $110? Therein lies the impact that non-round numbers can have on the perception of value. When negotiating, odd numbers, such as $1,990 versus $2,000, can have a profound effect on the mind of the person viewing the offer. The former sends the subliminal message that there may not be a lot of room to move past that offer. When making concessions, consider how you can influence the perception of your offers and counteroffers based on the numbers you use.

Think about how your concession will be perceived.

Understand how your concessions might be perceived before issuing them. Depending on the style of a negotiator (i.e. hard, easy, closed, open), what the easy/open negotiator might perceive as an attempt to further the negotiation, the hard/closed negotiator might perceive as an opportunity to take advantage of you.

How to use Red Herrings when conceding.

Red herrings can be irrelevant or relevant information. They can be used to divert attention from something you don’t wish to discuss, and they can also be used to project perceived value. In the latter case, use red herrings in the form of something that appears to have value to you that the opposing negotiator views as having real value to him; the stronger his perception of real value, the greater the value the red herring will be for him. At a point when you’ve been requested to make a concession, after great consternation, you can reluctantly give him the red herring. You will have lost nothing of real value, but you will have gained another chit that you can use later.

As you can see, there’s a lot of gamesmanship that occurs in a negotiation. You can enhance the probability of winning the game by utilizing the insights above… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

“Body Language Secrets To Win More Negotiations” will allow you to gain insight as to how you can negotiate better by being able to read the other negotiator’s body language. In addition, the book goes deep into new negotiation strategies that you can use to disarm your negotiation opponent and increase your negotiation win rates.

The Power of Alternatives

It was dinner-time on the low-cost airline. The cabin staff member (who, admittedly, was having a bad day) asked a passenger, “Would you like a meal?” The passenger replied, “What are my alternatives?” The response was, “Yes or no.”

Often, in business, sales and negotiations, we set ourselves up the same way. We give ourselves too few alternatives; resulting in us being left with a ‘take or leave it’ choice.

The term BATNA was created by Roger Fisher and William Ury (Getting to Yes) in 1980. It stands for ‘Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement’. In other words, if this deal starts going sour, what alternative deals of equal value could you move on to? It remains one of essential tools of negotiation today.

‘Walk Away’ Power

Your ‘Walk Away’ power is your most powerful bargaining ploy; but you can only use it if you have something to walk away to. This is why the most powerful side in a negotiation is the one with the best alternatives. Observing negotiations over many years, we can see that the most powerful side wins negotiations much less than you would expect. In fact, they generally only win negotiations when the other side allows itself to be intimidated by that power. The most powerful side – whether it is an individual, a company or a country – often has less alternatives because of their position of power. The smaller, less powerful can be more flexible, more agile and quicker.

“Walk Away’ power is a great leveller, because regardless of the positional power, it is equal for both sides.

Improve Your Network

Many businesspeople nowadays are suffering the ‘price squeeze’. They are being challenged in a race to the bottom by competitors (often new market entrants) undercutting them. They fail because of these two reasons:

1. They allow the conversation to be about price rather than value – and this doesn’t mean intangible value based on marketing phrases, but real, demonstrable bottom-line value.

2. They stick with the negotiation long after the value has disappeared because they have no alternative.

Those who struggle most to identify alternatives are those with under-developed networks. The strength of your alternatives will often be determined by the strength of your network.

While networking has not in the past been seen as a negotiating skill, now it should be.

Let them Choose

When negotiating with an individual with domineering behaviour (and, for a lot of people, this is the way they think they have to behave to be successful) be aware that for them to really commit to a deal, they must make the choice. So, rather than just giving them the ‘take it or leave it’ option, make it the ‘this or that’ option. Give them two, or even three options (but never more), and let them pick. You will have crafted your options so the net result to you is the same for all, so you don’t care which one they choose.

Stop the Bad Deals

Too many bad deals are done in business today. The hurt the business relationship and they hurt the bottom line. Alternatives will solve this in two different ways.

1. Try to always be offering the other side alternatives. The more factors you can integrate the better chance you have of finding that deal which will have maximum perceived value to them. Casually ‘dangle’ alternatives in your pre-offer discussions to see which ones they react to. Make it obvious you are not trying to lock them into any commitment; you are just “playing with ideas.”

2. And, if all else fails, you can walk away with dignity, maintaining face and the relationship for possible future deals.

Conditional Alternatives

Investment guru Warren Buffet says that the only way he can get to a good deal is by saying “no” to all the bad deals first. So, a very important negotiation skill is the ability to say “no” in a way that maintains the relationship and progresses rather than stalls the process. A very effective way of doing this is to use a conditional alternative. Simply put, you offer the other side an alternative, but you make it conditional on their accepting your no on a certain issue. So, it might sound like this: “There is absolutely no way we can move any further on price. However, if you can accept a no on that, perhaps we can be more flexible on the terms.”

The uncertainty of the future is guaranteed. No one can predict it; but we can be certain that those moving forward with the best alternatives will be the ones who are best positioned to benefit from any opportunities that arise.

Kevin is an experienced conference speaker, workshop leader, facilitator and MC. He has twenty-five years experience as a corporate trainer and fifteen years experience as a professional speaker.

He runs his own business from Brisbane, Australia, speaking at conferences and seminars across Australia, New Zealand and Asia specialising in the areas of sales, negotiation skills, humour in business and communication skills. His clients include some of Australia’s and Asia’s largest organisations, politicians, members of the judiciary, Olympic athletes and elite sports people.

He has co-authored nine books on communication skills and humour in business that are used extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the UK and South Africa. He writes regular columns on communication skills, sales & customer service and humour in business for a number of industry magazines. His articles have been printed in major daily newspapers in Australia and Asia.

Kevin is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) which is the highest possible level in professional speaking and the only one recognised internationally. He is the Immediate Past National President of Professional Speakers Australia.

Negotiation Strategies That Absolutely Stop A Bully – Negotiation Tip of the Week

How can you absolutely stop a bully during a negotiation? First, you have to ask yourself, what does he want? The answer will give you insight into his mindset, which will allow you to adopt strategies to combat him. From there, you can use the following strategies to stop a bully in your negotiations.

What a bully wants:

A bully wants recognition and positive attention. He wants to be recognized by others as possessing traits that enhance his image; that image serves to enhance his self-esteem. In a negotiation, you can play to his need by lavishing praise upon him. That may allow you to be invited into his good graces. It may also be the setup for more bullying. Know the probability of the outcome you seek and that will give you the insight into which strategy to employ.

Bully’s mindset:

A bully has to have others perceive him as being strong, impressive, and important. He’ll attempt to intimidate you to obtain that recognition. To alter his mindset during negotiations, use pattern interrupts (e.g. he makes a take-it-or-leave-it offer and you get up to leave without saying a word.) Doing so will confound him, which will cause him to rethink his strategy. If you can alter his mind, you can change the way the bully thinks. Do so by confounding him and you’ll deprive him of the tools he needs to promote his bullying efforts.

Strategies to stop a bully:

You should always confront a bully. Doing so will let him know that you’re aware of his tactics. It’ll also send a signal that you may retaliate. Depending on the bully’s perception of your strength, you can confront him openly or behind closed doors. Do so with a calm or aggressive demeanor. The choice you make is very important. If you confront him in front of others, he may do/say something that’s irrational; he doesn’t want to be embarrassed. If you believe confronting him in front of others is your best course of action, leave him with a way to save face. Some bullies love to ‘get even’ by doing things behind your back and you don’t want to be looking over your shoulder.

If you fight back against the bully do so with a force that he’ll perceive as being significantly greater than his power. A bully wants to pick on easy targets. Don’t make yourself easy.

What are the characteristics of a bully? They are of someone that wants to be respected, liked, and recognized. To deal with him either feed or starve the beast. The way you initially engage him will determine the interaction that occurs past that point. Thus, at the first sign of bullying, confront the aggressor. Doing so will put him on guard to the fact that he’s not going to have an easy time in his attempts to bully you… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

“Body Language Secrets To Win More Negotiations” will allow you to gain insight as to how you can negotiate better by being able to read the other negotiator’s body language. In addition, the book goes deep into new negotiation strategies that you can use to disarm your negotiation opponent and increase your negotiation win rates.