Negotiation. The outcome of a negotiation can often be determined within the first five minutes of a meeting. Now if you are Vito Corleone, sometimes you have leverage that makes the outcome inevitable. For the rest of us, the art of negotiation is a skill that can be honed and fine tuned. Here are a few ideas to help you in this process.
- Share your most effective information It is important to know your subject / product and to understand what is the most relevant piece of information that can work in your favor. If the outcome is often determined in the first five minutes, don’t leave your best bullets in the chamber.
- Find out exactly what the other side wants – The faster you can get the other side to reveal their opening position, the more effective you can be. Ask questions. Listen closely. Often there first disclosure is not the real need.
- Keep emotions in check – This is crucial. Just like Vito Corleone said, never let anyone know the emotions of a situation. This is like in poker, a tell, that reveals your hand. Strong changes in tone can reveal a desperation and that puts you at the mercy of the other person.
- Ask for more, settle for less – Ask for more than you expect, but make sure it is reasonable. In this way you set a line that you can move from but still have the other side understand that a deal is plausible.