GET INSIDE THEIR HEAD… there is a popular television program called “The Good Wife”. A rather misleading title, it focuses on a very powerful legal firm and all the dynamics surrounding the business and personal lives of the characters. In a recent episode one of the Clients said to her Lawyer, “I thought you were on my side, you’re supposed to be representing me!”. This evoked a very simple yet pragmatic response from the Attorney, “The best way for me to be on your side is to know how the other side thinks”. That apporoach makes a lot of sense and certainly applies to the Negotiations that go on every day in the Sales business. Great Salespeople are great Negotiators.
Here is your ACTION STEP… it is easy to recognize that to be a great Negotiator we need to be good at understanding “how the other side thinks”. This isn’t something you should try to guess at. Just like a great Attorney, it helps to ask some simple open questions:
1. Can you tell me more about where you/your Customer is coming from?
2. How did you arrive at that conclusion?
3. Could you please tell me more about your/their position?
4. Where do you really want to end up here?
5. How do you mean?
6. What is it going to take to put this together?
Great Negotiating starts and ends with “Give and Take”. The “Taking” part isn’t hard it’s the “Giving” part that is tricky. By asking more questions, by understanding “how the other side thinks”, you will not end up “Giving” any more than is necessary. One final thought… great Negotiators are never “attached to the outcome”. Even if it’s true, do not reveal that you really “need this deal”. That doesn’t serve anyone very well… especially you. NO Excuses.