Making a negotiation mistake can be easier to do than many realize. Imagine you receive an offer via email late on a Friday from a vendor to your business and do not look at it over the weekend. Then they call you up on Monday to discuss the offer. Might seem like having this discussion is okay, but you’re agreeing to negotiate without having thought through the offer made and without making any strategic preparations. The only way you should respond in this situation is to set a time to discuss at some future time after you have had a chance to fully consider the offer. Then follow through and call them back soon.
Re-examining most of the conversations we have reveals that some form of negotiation is constant, whether you are negotiating contract terms in your business or talking with your child about bedtime. And no matter what kind of negotiation or client you are dealing with, information is power.
Knowledge is Power in Negotiations
It’s easy to see why many think the way to prepare for a negotiation is to prepare arguments to change the other side’s mind concerning the validity of their position. However, the reality is that the second you start talking you are conceding power because knowledge is power, and you must give it away in order to talk.
Therefore, it’s far more critical that you prepare for negotiations by preparing questions you want to ask in order to get as much information from the other party as possible. Questions will help you secure the information you need to respond with purpose, instead of scrambling. Also, it is good to really listen to the other party. If while hearing the other person talk you are preparing what to say next you may miss very important information and messaging that can lead to a fundamental breakdown in the negotiation.
It’s not about convincing the other side to agree to your terms or convince them that your arguments will be superior. Rather, it’s about gathering information in part by building rapport. This means spending time working on relationships and asking the kind of open-ended questions that lead to a better understanding of the other party’s goals, interests, options, and needs. Listening and understanding should be the focus in building the trust and relationship necessary for a long-term association.
Once you have knowledge, you have power in the negotiations and then you can leverage it to achieve favorable terms or outcomes in your negotiations. If you have any additional questions about negotiations or wish to discuss any other related legal issues, call Stephen Rizzieri at 214.434.1017 or fill out the form on our site today.