I have realized, at this point, the true message from the “lady with the cigar” and the simple statement she has come to represent…“In business you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!” Basically it’s that we must negotiate all phases of business in order to simply run with the pack or even be ahead of it a bit, and that we must, as always, keep it simple.
Just as with any skill, it could take years upon years of study and practical experience to become a cutting edge, hard core, world class negotiator. When you really get into the science of negotiation it can very easily become just that, a science. The mastering of the art of negotiation is a challenging strategic, psychological and scientific discipline.
However If you’re like me, I really don’t’ have the time or inclination to do that. So I’ll practice what I preach in my business coaching practice. I believe that we try to make everything harder than necessary by not practicing the Law of Simplicity. The Law states that “in everything that we learn and do we should try to first purely and clearly understand the most basic elements of the issue.” In this basic simplicity we can then learn and adapt the foundational principles and then apply them with greater intensity and within a more immediate time frame.
So, what I’m about to give you are some thoughts on negotiation that puts the key “RULES” of the game into a simple and more importantly applicable language. First let’s have a clear understanding of what the word Negotiation means. In the simplest terms, the word negotiation means “The process of achieving agreement through discussion.” Also remember that when negotiating with customers, prospects, suppliers, family, friends or others that it is not always the best price that is the objective…but how BOTH of you can be successful!
One of the most commonly asked questions that I get concerns when a negotiation really begins. My answer is always the same; the negotiation begins at the point that you begin talking. It is part of your entire process. But also remember that IT’S JUST A GAME! Don’t take it personal, it’s not, so have some fun with it. It’s not life or death it’s just trying to get something more from the agreement!
There are four results from negotiation:
I WIN – YOU LOSE
I LOSE – YOU WIN
I LOSE – YOU LOSE
I WIN – YOU WIN….and it is this result that we’ll call the foundational rule. It’s a WIN- WIN deal or it’s not a deal.
Before we get to the RULES of NEGOTIATION there are a few LAWS of NEGOTIATING that we must mention:
First Law of Negotiation: Never enter a negotiation with a short time line. If you’re negotiating with the restriction of a looming deadline, usually you will always LOSE.
Second Law of Negotiation: Never negotiate on an emotional issue or out of emotion. Try to take emotion out of the equation…if you can’t you’ll usually lose. I once met a world class negotiator who had for years been involved in negotiating peace agreements between nations. However he told me that when it came time to negotiate for a new car he always took his neighbor with him to help because he was too emotionally close to the issue.
Third Law of Negotiation: Plan on taking your time. Never negotiate on anything that you think you have to have now or today. Set yourself a time frame that you’ll be ok with in getting the item or situation bought or achieved. Then you have the most powerful tool available to you in any negotiation…you’re now willing and able to walk away from any deal and potentially find or achieve it somewhere else.
So now the basics are out of the way and we’re finally ready to get to the RULES OF NEGOTIATING. Next week, in our fourth and final discussion we’ll clearly define these rules. There will be only eight of them but they will be your foundation for anything that you might face in the future personally or professionally.
Negotiation is a part of life and if you need some help with it let me know. That’s what we do at Grow Southwest and we’re open for business. Call or write today and we’ll get together and talk. Until then as always,