Business Meeting

Negotiate Your Heart Out, Baby!

Latest posts by Mike Wade (see all)

Powerful negotiating can be the difference between the success or failure of your business.  Business owners often bristle when they even consider the word “negotiate”.  You may even be bristling now.

However, you actually negotiate virtually every day of your life… and you’re likely quite good at it.  Whether it is getting another to follow your lead, having your children eat their vegetables, getting that job you want or closing the biggest business deal of your life, you are always negotiating.

So how do you gain maximum power in your negotiations?  It starts with the fact that always, ALWAYS it comes down to two or more human beings interacting with each other… Each dealing with similar concerns, fears, wants, and desires. Authentically relating to the real humanity of a person brings power and leaves you with a tremendous edge in your negotiations.

The following 9 steps will bring heart, compassion, power and success to your negotiations:

1)  Create a Win-Win

Start out with the goal of creating a win-win.  Generating this as the desired outcome will create a space of cooperation.  Avoid trying to “get one over” on the person you’re negotiating with.  This may mean that you come away with less, but it will set the stage for more business dealings.  Don’t get greedy.

2)  Create relationship – Human Beings DOING Business

It is never the case that the person across from you is not a human being doing business.  We are all human beings first and business people second.  Set a goal to create relationship first and a business deal second.  Be compassionate, inquisitive and understanding.  Listen more than you talk.  This will set the foundation for a win-win result.

3)  Figure Out “What Movie the Other is Watching”

It’s easy to lose sight of what another is dealing with, what’s important to them and what they want while we’re dealing with our own concerns and what we want.  Get over there with them.  Ask a lot of questions.  For example, “What’s important to you?”, “What are you dealing with?”,  “What are you out to accomplish?” and even, “What do YOU want?”  Really get them and what they want.

4)  Be Straight

Be in touch with exactly what you are out to accomplish and be straight about it.  No partial truths, withholds nor “white lies”.  Be upfront.  Ask for what you want early and often.  Tell the truth always and all ways.

5)  Don’t take anything personally

Although you have established a human connection in prior steps, there will be times when the other party may say or ask for something that seems inappropriate.  Remember this is business too and that the other person is operating under a view that is the “correct one” for them.  All that said, stay strong and be straight about what you actually want.

6)  Do Your Homework

Preparation will be the key for establishing your credibility.  Before your first meeting research their business, the industry trends, what they may be dealing with as a company and what they are out to accomplish.  This will serve as an excellent foundation for step 2.

7)  Think Big – Start High – Be Specific

Concessions are a part of negotiation and usually required to create a win-win outcome.  Establish what you want to accomplish before you begin talks.  Think big, start high and be specific.  You can’t raise the bar and ask for more, so start high, make necessary concessions and create a win-win outcome.

8)  Assign a Value to Each Concession

It will be unlikely that you will get everything you ask for at the end of the day and you will have to concede items during negotiation.  When doing so, assign a value to each concession and negotiate for a concession on the other side of equal value.

9)  Don’t Be Attached to the Result – Be Prepared to Walk Away

Being attached to a result often creates a level of tension and anxiety that can put you at a disadvantage.  Don’t be attached to the result.  If this deal doesn’t work out, there will be another somewhere else.  Keep it light, fun and free.  Again, don’t take anything personally.

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