“Gabe scratched his double chin. “Maybe if you hurry with the seven-layer dip…And maybe if the kid apologizes for interrupting my poker game. Maybe if I kick you in your soft spot, I thought. And make you sing Soprano for a week.”
By Rick Riordan
Negotiating is a process very similar to selling, although with some differences. Selling is persuading, convincing the prospective client to think and act as the seller wants him to act and, always, for the benefit of both parties, although not always is like this.
In negotiation, one party also tries to persuade the other. Negotiating is a process of resolving a conflict between two or more parties, because there is always a conflict of interests. It can be a social exchange that implies a relationship of strength, a subtle struggle for dominance. That force is moving from one side to another during the various stages, it is not convenient in a negotiation that one of the parties benefits from an unbalanced force relationship that imposes its conditions on the other party. It is better that there is a certain balance of forces and that the pressures are exchanged, finally the parties will reach an agreement when the forces are equal.
This is because, if one party frequently wins at the cost of the other losing, it ends
producing breakage of business relationships. In negotiations, both parties must benefit.
Generally, in the negotiation the total relationship between the participants is not affected, it is deferred in one part, not in the whole. Negotiation phases are very similar to those of sales. Knowledge and mastery of these phases will depend to a great extent on the success or failure of the negotiation.
In the preparation phase, it is necessary to define what is to be achieved and how to achieve it, establishing the objectives. It is very important to try to discover the objectives of the opposite.
People negotiate because they have or think they have a conflict of rights or interests. In this phase, that is usually called conversation, exchange or presentation, we need to try and remove aggressiveness from any discussion. It is very similar to the stage of determination of needs that is practiced within sales.
In the negotiation, both positions are moving, sometimes approaching and others, on the contrary, distancing themselves. The signal is a tool that negotiators use to indicate their willingness to negotiate about something, it is a message that has to be interpreted by the one who receives it; often the statements made in the early stages of the negotiation are of an absolute nature, such as: “we will never grant the discount you ask us”, “it is absolutely impossible to accept this form of payment” or “we can not consider that proposal”.
Proposals are what is being negotiated, discussions are not negotiated, although
proposals may be the subject of discussion. It leaves the discussion by a signal that leads to a proposal, that is, to an offer or request different from the initial position; risky offers should be avoided in the first proposals, and these should be cautious and exploratory because, in any case, they will be developed later and are likely to be accepted.
This phase is the most intense of the entire negotiation process and requires great attention on both sides, since it is about getting something in exchange for giving up something else. Any proposal or concession must be conditional, that is, for everything that is granted, something must be obtained in return.
Closing the agreement
The purpose of the closure is to reach an agreement. Just like when we talked about closing the sale, also in negotiations it must be done safely and firmly, and to be accepted it must satisfy a sufficient number of the needs of the other party. In any case and as in the sale, there are two types of closure:
Closing by concession. It is the most frequent form in negotiations; It is equivalent to finishing the exchange phase by offering a concession to reach an agreement.
Close with summary. After closing with a concession, it is the most used type of trading closing. At the end of the exchange phase, a summary is made of all the agreements reached so far, highlighting the concessions we have made on our part and underlining the advantage of reaching an agreement on the pending issues.
In the negotiation, strategic movements acquire great importance, the way we do these and respond to those of our opponent will determine our success or failure. Keep in mind that the objective in a negotiation is not only to reach a satisfactory agreement, but to get the best possible agreement.