When does a negotiation begin?
Negotiation is a daily action, which is part of almost every situation of both our personal and business lives – buying an item of clothing, waking the children up to go to school, and more. Negotiation with customers actually begins the first moment you approach them (even if it’s an ad on TV) and continues throughout your entire relationship with them, including after the deal has been completed (because surely you want to preserve your customers and make other deals with them in the future).
All of the tools Dr. Yaniv Zaid teaches, in every possible way – in lectures, conferences, workshops and books – are aimed at creating positive long terms relationships with your customers (and with everyone else in your personal and professional environment).
Negotiations are usually the beginning of the business relationship (and sometimes also the social relationship) with your customer, and they are the foundation for building a long term relationship with them. Therefore you should always strive for both sides to be happy when the negotiations are over (this is called a “win-win situation” – a situation in which both parties win).
If the customer feels that he lost and got “screwed” by making the deal with you, he will perform his role in executing the deal accordingly – he won’t make an effort to keep you satisfied!
Another reason why you should strive in every negotiation to reach a win-win situation, is the variety of creative solutions that the digital and marketing age of the 21st century offers.
Let’s take for example an employee who’s asking for a raise, and his boss doesn’t want to or can’t pay him more money. Seemingly, this negotiation is doomed from the get-go, and is likely to “blow up” very fast. The employee will ask for more money, the boss will refuse, and they’ll get stuck very soon.
The reason they’ll get stuck is twofold – they are focusing only on the money, and also this is a “zero sum game” – if the boss gives him more money, he’ll feel “screwed” because he has given something he doesn’t have enough of.
Now let’s try to approach this negotiation creatively, with a win-win attitude.
First we need to understand something important – what is the employee’s hidden interest?
The obvious interest is clear – he wants to get paid more money. But why does he want more money? A primary reason, based on studies conducted on the topic – is to feel more appreciated, to feel important in the company, that the way he does his job is appreciated and that he’s respected.
Is there a way of making the employee feel appreciated and respected, and to make his personal financial situation better, too, and for this to barely cost the company any money?
For example, give the employee a company car, or a mobile phone from the company, or a vacation, or a larger room in the office, or a one-time bonus. In all of these cases, the employee didn’t get what he asked for directly – a pay raise in his salary every month – but he got what he intended to get (even if subconsciously) – appreciation and personal treatment – and the negotiation ends successfully.
Studies show that most negotiations about salaries end successfully without the employees receiving money added directly to their salary, and they still leave happy.
How is that? Because negotiations done right, that strive for both parties to agree and benefit, look at the parties’ hidden interests (and not only at the obvious ones), and work to persuade through listening, creativity and personal treatment.
When preparing for a negotiation, among other things, you need to focus on the following issues:
- The importance of the written word in negotiations
- Identifying the interests of the other party
- Proper time management during the negotiations
- Using examples and facts during the negotiations
- Insisting on principles during the negotiations
- Listening to the other party