Big Red Car here — brrr! It’s 30F here in the ATX. It’s not getting higher than 45F. How is that possible?
We need to do a better job of negotiating with Mothah Nature. Please Momma, a bit more heat, some of that global warming?
Speaking of negotiations…..
The Boss is very fond of saying that in life you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate which brings to mind the issue of how do YOU negotiate?
The Boss was reviewing all of his brilliant CEO client notebooks and the consensus is in — not very well.
This is appalling as the art of negotiating anything is a skill like putting — requires some planning and assessment but no real strength or coordination. Anyone can become a great negotiator if you will follow some very simple rules.
1. Remember that everything in life is negotiable.
2. Remember to negotiate.
3. Plan your negotiations before they start and anticipate the other guy’s interests and responses.
4. Take your time and don’t rush. Most negotiations are multi-touch exercises.
5. Give yourself a chance to get lucky.
6. Negotiate your side and let the other guy negotiate his.
That is the first chapter on negotiations and it is very easy indeed. Already, you’re a better negotiator. Right?
The Boss cannot stress enough the necessity to plan to negotiate. This is perhaps the greatest failing of negotiators, they fail to realize they are engaged in a negotiation and they fail to plan thereby creating undue stess as they try to think on their feet. Plan your work and work your plan — that’s what the Big Red Car always says.
Here are a couple of other thoughts:
1. Let’s say you are planning to negotiate. Identify the perfect outcome and the likely outcome and the walk away outcome. Know this before you even shake hands.
2. Any negotiation typically only has 3-4 really important points but the other guy may not know what yours are and you may not know what her’s are. Try to anticipate them but knw you are on a journey of discovery. When you discover what they are, wait to trade on those items.
3. Do not be afraid to set the goal posts at an initial starting point that gives yourself a chance to get lucky. Once buying a high rise office building, The Boss set out a ridiculously low offer and the seller accepted it. In the internal discussions prior to the negotiation, the team thought that offer was nuts. The deal got done at that number because The Boss had given himself a chance to get lucky.
4. Resist the temptation to negotiate what the other guy wants. Let them negotiate their own side. Let them articulate what they want. This is a “process” and even if you think you know what they want, the process must run its course. Do not negotiate with yourself.
In the months ahead, we will chat more about negotiations but if you want to get a head start go read: Chester Karass on negotiating. You will be glad you did.
Happy New Year, y’all — yes, it’s the Monday to end all Mondays but you are a business assassin. Rested and ready!