In The Trenches
The Art of
Negotiation 101

by Steven Pavent

   As a smaller sales organization in this industry you don�t have an army of lawyers or a pile of money to pay them. You�re walking the streets every day trying to make an honest living. One of the most important skills you�ll use with your vendors and merchants is the art of negotiation. So, I�ve decided to write an outline to negotiating based on a class I took some years ago, that has served me well. Believe it or not there is a science to negotiating.

The 5 major reasons people resist.
  • Anger/Fear/Hostility (this is an emotional response to change)
  • Habit (some people always say no)
  • Losing Face (once they�ve committed it�s tough to change)
  • Win-Lose Mentality (they believe that it�s my way or the highway)
  • Your Reaction (they are mirroring your reaction of a dug in position)

   When faced with a negotiation or a turn of events, don�t react. Control your reactions.

The 3 most common reactions:
  • Strike Back = try to roll over the other party with force
  • Give In = cave in and be the martyr
  • Break Off = run and hide to avoid confrontation

   Instead you should try to:

  • Disarm your opponent
  • Change the game
  • Make it easy to say yes
  • Make it hard to say no

   Remember: Breakthrough Negotia-ion is the art of letting the other person have their way.

  • Determine you BATNA (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement)
  • Strengthen your BATNA (have alternatives in place)
  • Stay focused on your goal (know what you want before you start)l
How to achieve your BATNA or goal:
  • Go to the balcony (never make an important decision on the spot or under pressure)
  • Rewind the tape (paraphrase what the other party wants while you think)
  • Pause (don�t say anything while you think, silence is OK)
  • Call for a break (bathroom, smoke, phone call or anything to buy a minute)
Step to their side.

   Listen, look for agreement, paraphrase and acknowledge their point.
   Eliminate the word but and replace with yes and, make you statements into I statements to show understanding.

Change the Game.

   Don�t reject�reframe, ask for their help or advice (act as if they�re interested in solving the problem) Why? and Why not? What If? and What makes that fair? Ask open-ended, eye-opening questions.
   Words like is, isn�t, can, can�t, should be replaced with, How, Why, Why not, What or Who.
   For example: �Mr. Pavent if you do that we�re going to have to stop paying your residuals.� Now normally I would react (big NO NO) with a strike back. �If you do that I�ll cut off your nuts in an alley some night� now that may work or may make them mad. But asking: �What makes that fair?� will force them to explain their position. Either way the three things you�ll mostly run into are:

  • Stonewall
    Go around try to move to another issue and come back later
  • Attack
    Make it an attack on the situation, don�t take it personally, deflect it to the subject.
  • Tricks
    Play dumb like a fox, by not directly exposing the trick but asking questions that do.
Make it easy to say YES.
  • Not his idea (make it their idea)
  • Overlooked one of their basic interests (ask questions and paraphrase)
  • Losing Face (give them a logical way to look good)
  • Too fast or overwhelmed (slow down and go over benefits)
  • Build him a golden bridge (gently show why a negotiated agreement is better)

   Always summarize your agreement when you�ve found common ground.

Make it hard for them to say NO!

   Ask reality testing questions about what their BATNA might be or what you could do to them.
   Make a direct statement of what will happen.
   Make sure to keep it as a warning not a threat, (just a simple cause and effect statement).

   If you follow this basic outline it should help you with one of the most important things you do on a day-to-day basis. I know it�s sure helped me.