Home > Negotiation > Crucial Elements of a Negotiation

Crucial Elements of a Negotiation

In my opinion there are five crucial elements that make up a successful negotiator:
Confidence
Your confidence levels are important to your credibility and the client’s perceptions of the power you hold. Confidence levels are improved by your negotiation competence, knowledge of client and their needs and knowledge of your product.
Preparation
In many cases, you will be better prepared than the client with whom you are negotiating. Know the client’s needs and limitations. Be well aware of what you and the sales company you work for can delivery your clients/customers that give you a point of difference.

Knowledge
Knowledge is power. Know your product and have all the answers at your fingertips. Only by doing this can you instantly come back at the client with the response to their concern.

Honesty
If you are not being honest, this will usually be evident to the person with whom you are negotiating. Even if it is not evident at this negotiation, it could negate any opportunity to negotiate with this person in the future.

Strength
Being strong is paramount to being a good negotiator. Don’t give up too easily and don’t take the first “no” as being final and irrevocable. Even be prepared to walk if necessary – that’s strong!
- by Snowboy
I like it and agree with it - Good post Snowboy - by SexSells
STRENGTH???? - I have never heard tha one before.

Good concept - by Ray47
I like it and agree with it - Good post Snowboy
Thank you Victoria. - by Snowboy
STRENGTH???? - I have never heard tha one before.

Good concept
Raymond - Being a new sales intrant coming from the Courts of Law I don't think you will to much of a problem with this.

All the best. - by Snowboy
Is this thread about more successful negotiation (as a process) or being a more successful negotiator - as in a person?

---

My immediate thoughts on what is a very complex subject area that isn't always understood by people - even by 'experts' in the field are:-

- Experience and competence (in negotiators at work) are not necessarily strongly correlated;

- There are problems, many of them severe, in establishing negotiation best practice. There are volumes of research written on this subject. The majority of negotiators are completely ignorant of this material;

- The predominant paradigms, the populist ones, are so riddled with controversies and defects, yet frighteningly they are the standards by which many companies shoot themselves in the foot. Very simply, corporate buyers of negotiation training materials, systems, and services often don't understand what they're buying. This can be a common problem in the procurement of professional or expert services. Often times the client doesn't have the expertise to properly evaluate or understand what it is they are purchasing.

I agree with the original poster of this thread that preparation and ethics are of central importance to anyone wishing to be more successful in their negotiations.

Beyond these initial basic observations, it is important to ascertain what sort of paradigm you are basing your negotiating model on. There are not very many normative approaches in the market, and this doesn't alleviate the problems outlined above - including the lack of knowledge and awareness in the market.

As I've mentioned elsewhere in other threads, 'the world is still flat' to most negotiators. What this means to those who do have a more rounded world perspective on matters at hand, is they are at an even greater advantage because of it... - by ThirdForceNegotiator
Is this thread about more successful negotiation (as a process) or being a more successful negotiator - as in a person?

---

My immediate thoughts on what is a very complex subject area that isn't always understood by people - even by 'experts' in the field are:-

- Experience and competence (in negotiators at work) are not necessarily strongly correlated;

- There are problems, many of them severe, in establishing negotiation best practice. There are volumes of research written on this subject. The majority of negotiators are completely ignorant of this material;

- The predominant paradigms, the populist ones, are so riddled with controversies and defects, yet frighteningly they are the standards by which many companies shoot themselves in the foot. Very simply, corporate buyers of negotiation training materials, systems, and services often don't understand what they're buying. This can be a common problem in the procurement of professional or expert services. Often times the client doesn't have the expertise to properly evaluate or understand what it is they are purchasing.

I agree with the original poster of this thread that preparation and ethics are of central importance to anyone wishing to be more successful in their negotiations.

Beyond these initial basic observations, it is important to ascertain what sort of paradigm you are basing your negotiating model on. There are not very many normative approaches in the market, and this doesn't alleviate the problems outlined above - including the lack of knowledge and awareness in the market.

As I've mentioned elsewhere in other threads, 'the world is still flat' to most negotiators. What this means to those who do have a more rounded world perspective on matters at hand, is they are at an even greater advantage because of it...
You know... while I appreciate your obvious expertise in the subject, I don't understand a single thing you're saying.... sad isn't it.

Much Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
You know... while I appreciate your obvious expertise in the subject, I don't understand a single thing you're saying.... sad isn't it.

Much Aloha... :cool:
Is this a rhetorical question, or a plea for help?

I'm not sure if you're stalking me from the other threads - but if your quest is the pursuit of knowledge, I'd be only too happy to try and oblige.

There's never a dumb question - so please ask away if something is not immediately clear.

You can never have too many friends (unless you're on Facebook - apparently there's now a 5,000 limit)

Please don't be sad. - by ThirdForceNegotiator
Is this a rhetorical question, or a plea for help?

I'm not sure if you're stalking me from the other threads - but if your quest is the pursuit of knowledge, I'd be only too happy to try and oblige.

There's never a dumb question - so please ask away if something is not immediately clear.

You can never have too many friends (unless you're on Facebook - apparently there's now a 5,000 limit)

Please don't be sad.
It is certainly not a plea for help. I'm certainly not sad. Being Stalked.... Please don't flatter yourself...... - by rattus58
It is certainly not a plea for help. I'm certainly not sad. Being Stalked.... Please don't flatter yourself......
one should always retain a sense of humour, and us Brits enjoy having a good laugh at ourselves.

since knowledge is the acquisition of humility, I'm always up for improving myself, and learning more... there is so much we don't individually know; we are all in this void.

I was hoping you might be able to guide me further in areas where I might be going astray - like explaining myself more simply perhaps, but judging from your reply above (if there was really ever any doubt as to your motives or meaning) these aspirations of sharing and enlightenment that I held deep in my breast seem to be fading fast...

have yourself an enjoyable evening in Hawaii my friend - by ThirdForceNegotiator
Well you're obviously up early in the morning... 7:00 isn't it.... here is what I got from your post originally....
1) complex subject and experts don't know it
2) Experience and competance aren't necessarily related
3) The predominant paradigms are so riddled with defects as to be essentially useless
4) Sales programs that are bought by companies are most times defective
5) Beyond all of this, you seem to be saying that we need to know what sort of sales/negotiation model we're using, and even if we know what we're using we probably don't know what we're doing.

I can reduce this to one sentence.

The art of negotiation is so complex, that few have real expertise in it, and companies that purchase expansive negotiating and sales programs, because of the lack of understanding of this art or skill, rarely get relevant material.

Close? No? Sad..... :)

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
I'm a Brit so I know about these things.

There is a very fine line between irony and sarcasm.

Both can be used in a humorous context, but both can
jump the chasm from humour to contempt very easily.

I didn't understand what he meant either.

But I DO know about negotiation. I learned it from observing the way the East and West negotiated over arms during the cold war.

The only secret is to NEVER be an actual decision maker.

The face to face negotiaters were NEVER the real decision makers.

Every conversation was 'If we...will you...? - by helisell
I'm a Brit so I know about these things.

There is a very fine line between irony and sarcasm.

Both can be used in a humorous context, but both can
jump the chasm from humour to contempt very easily.

I didn't understand what he meant either.

But I DO know about negotiation. I learned it from observing the way the East and West negotiated over arms during the cold war.

The only secret is to NEVER be an actual decision maker.

The face to face negotiaters were NEVER the real decision makers.

Every conversation was 'If we...will you...?
it almost sounds like you could be quoting from Karrass and his armchair observations from the 1960s.

appreciate your comments, and it's nice to have a helping hand from a compatriot.

are you interested in football too? - by ThirdForceNegotiator
But I DO know about negotiation. I learned it from observing the way the East and West negotiated over arms during the cold war.

The only secret is to NEVER be an actual decision maker.

The face to face negotiaters were NEVER the real decision makers.

Every conversation was 'If we...will you...?
That is a powerfully informative and useful observation. - by Ace Coldiron
Well you're obviously up early in the morning... 7:00 isn't it.... here is what I got from your post originally....
1) complex subject and experts don't know it
2) Experience and competance aren't necessarily related
3) The predominant paradigms are so riddled with defects as to be essentially useless
4) Sales programs that are bought by companies are most times defective
5) Beyond all of this, you seem to be saying that we need to know what sort of sales/negotiation model we're using, and even if we know what we're using we probably don't know what we're doing.

I can reduce this to one sentence.

The art of negotiation is so complex, that few have real expertise in it, and companies that purchase expansive negotiating and sales programs, because of the lack of understanding of this art or skill, rarely get relevant material.

Close? No? Sad..... :)

Aloha... :cool:

I'll answer your query but I'll try not to repeat any of my other postings in this forum concerning negotiation:

1) Negotiation is a very complex area of social scientific study and there are considerable controversies surrounding 'established experts' in the field. Some are self-appointed, without much if any 'scientific' background or grounding, despite some of their claims. Due to this, negotiation has a bit of a tarred reputation in some quarters, and is often perceived negatively and with skepticism.

2) This is an observation from over twenty-five years of watching negotiators at work.

3) In another thread I believe I have referenced some of the defects of the 'streetwise' school of negotiation; those that deal with ploys, tactics and tricks. Karrass was the great pioneer of this school in the USA. Fisher & Ury's "Getting To Yes" published in 1981 (which many people are familiar with - as another populist work) can be seen as a complete riposte of the streetwise approach to negotiation and everything that it implied.

This 'interest' or 'principled' "win-win" paradigm to negotiations is also flawed, and is not the ambitious cure-all to the problems and drawbacks of the streetwise or 'tough guy' negotiators the authors claimed.

Lax & Sebenius, writing in 2006 even went so far as to call those who employ the above paradigms in their negotiations as the 'losers'.

There are alternatives to both of these schools that avoid their respective flaws, and these are grounded in the process school of negotiation theory and practice. Here negotiation results are derived from the use of a proven process that is focused on behaviours, not on ploys, tactics or tricks, – or an appeal to the other party(s) to share in your rational decision making ideas.

One of its many strengths over all other approaches is it explains the process that is going on, and provides clear and repeatable, predictable steps. It is a normative approach with very powerful prescriptions that are practical and applicable to all negotiations.

4) Most businesses providing specialist services believe their clients are buying expertise, but they are much mistaken. The truth of the matter is their prospects are usually assuming their expertise as a given, because they are not in any position to intelligently evaluate their provider’s expertise in the first place.

Consider three of our most common specialist service providers – doctors, lawyers and CPAs; a prospect isn’t likely to understand or be able to distinguish a perceptive diagnosis, an incisive cutting legal brief, or a really efficient tax return. In fact they will have little idea unless they too are similarly qualified experts.

However, people can easily tell if a relationship is good, and it takes little ‘expertise’ to gauge a common reputation (even though this may be a mass perception of unqualified opinion) or unrelated attributes to expertise, such as exposure. [Philip Tetlock, the eminent American political scientist and Professor of Leadership at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has tracked the accomplishments of experts over several decades. His research finds the better known the pundit, the less accurate their performance and economic utility]

People are not buying expertise, more often than not they cannot understand it – they are instead making decisions based upon other variables – exposure, familiarity, fame; it becomes a herd mentality.

5) Yes. Much of the problems outlined are due to a lack of awareness and understanding of what negotiation is, and the different approaches 'experts' have taken in trying to elucide and codify 'best practice', much of which is inherently flawed.

To conclude, in this country there is a very real danger if you have any 'professional' education or training in negotiation you have been schooled in one of the two main populist paradigms; streetwise or principled ("win-win") negotiation. These competing schools of thought cannot both be right, but they could both be wrong... - by ThirdForceNegotiator
Considering that none of the authors you cited are known to me, nor are any of their teachings, I almost feel like I've escaped a great burden on information...sn;

I'm almost rendering these thoughts of yours into a simple truism when it comes to the purchase of these teachings, by any vendor, and that would be that it comes down to trust. We don't know the subject matter anyway, the person teaching it may not either, so if I trust the teacher, I'll buy the program.

Much Aloha... Tom :cool: - by rattus58
I'd probably add to that...

Intent
...or to put it another way knowing "what do you want out of the negotiation?" To a large extent this depends on your relationship with the other party. If it is a one-off negotiation, like buying a house, you will likely want the absolute best deal for yourself that you can achieve. If it's a B2B relationship, perhaps with a long-standing major customer, you want a win-win result that achieves your goals but still leaves the other party happy and wanting to do business with you again.
An obvious example might be an annual price negotiation. If your customer finds himself sole-sourced on your product this year you're in a strong negotiating position. Despite doing an excellent job of selling the value of your solution (which we all do of course), if you leave them feeling too bruised and battered you may find next year that either a competitor is also designed-in and you're in a pricing bloodbath, or worse still you are completely designed out :sa - by markgoodson
I'd probably add to that...

Intent
...or to put it another way knowing "what do you want out of the negotiation?" To a large extent this depends on your relationship with the other party. If it is a one-off negotiation, like buying a house, you will likely want the absolute best deal for yourself that you can achieve. If it's a B2B relationship, perhaps with a long-standing major customer, you want a win-win result that achieves your goals but still leaves the other party happy and wanting to do business with you again.
An obvious example might be an annual price negotiation. If your customer finds himself sole-sourced on your product this year you're in a strong negotiating position. Despite doing an excellent job of selling the value of your solution (which we all do of course), if you leave them feeling too bruised and battered you may find next year that either a competitor is also designed-in and you're in a pricing bloodbath, or worse still you are completely designed out :sa

Yes Mark

You raise a perfect illustration of one of the fundamental drawbacks the school of 'streetwise' (ploys, tactics & tricks) negotiation has, and what the 'principled' school (popularised by Fisher & Ury) tried to correct for with their own grand theory.

However, there are more broadly-based problems that corporate buyers and individuals are probably not aware of with the old school 'streetwise' approach Karrass established and codified:-

- it was developed in the 1960s, before Armstrong landed on the moon and home computers existed;

- employs the most basic theoretical paradigm that does not actually work when other people are similarly ‘equipped’, or against skilled, properly educated negotiators, or in complex situations;

- was derived from a solitary study performed over 40 years ago that was not even conducted within a real organisation or under real situational circumstances. It was entirely artificially manufactured;

- suffers (like most ‘expert’ guidance on negotiation) by giving advice too vague to make implementing it easy, causing problems with applicability, and necessitating skilled discretion in its interpretation;

- utilizes older, passive, far less effective ‘training’ methods like lectures, books and audio recordings;

- does little to explain what negotiation is substantively all about, providing no cogent, cohesive, or effective framework to approach and understand ALL negotiations. Instead it presents a hodge-podge of unrelated observations, and an unorganized mass of material for a candidate to digest;

- has a central focus on what might happen during a negotiation, not on what happens in reality, which imparts further weaknesses in its efficacy for training purposes and also in its workability in practice;

- its central tenets can encourage unskilled, inexperienced negotiators in attempts to be manipulative, which can actually lose deals and impede long-term mutually beneficial business relationships;

- might ‘work’ in only the most simple of scenarios involving naïve and inexperienced counter-parties;

- at its very worst fosters an inappropriate perspective among untrained negotiators which can conflict with their own company codes of ethics, contemporary consultative selling, and optimal performance.

Unfortunately Fisher & Ury's (the most well-known of the principled school's proponents) attempt to plug the holes and counter the defects in the streetwise approach isn't the solution either.

Perhaps if there's time I'll expand on this last point in a separate thread.

Negotiation (and its corporate training) is not only one of the most misunderstood and in some cases, ill-conceived areas of staff and management education, it is also one of the most critical and bottom-line oriented activities and skill sets corporate staff can possess. - by ThirdForceNegotiator
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