Use the Right Negotiation Style to Be a Winning Negotiator
When you negotiate, to what degree should you disclose what you hope to receive from the negotiation and how should you go about revealing your desires? The answer to a great extent depends on the type of person you’re negotiating with and the perception you wish them to perceive of you.
It’s very important that you understand the negotiation style of the person you’re negotiating with, because that will be a determining factor as to how you should project yourself. The following are 3 styles of negotiators and insight into how you could negotiate with each style.
The strong, no nonsense, bottom-line negotiator
When negotiating with someone that is dogmatic, stubborn, tough, and very bottom-line oriented, it may serve you well to state the desires you have of the negotiation in an approximate matter. That’s to say, in describing the outcome you wish of the negotiation, inflate it with ‘give backs’ concealed in your desires. ‘Give backs’ are negotiation positions, or points of view, you can use to move your negotiation partner in the direction you’d like to have the negotiation proceed. In essence, you can use ‘give backs’ to make concessions as you go through the negotiation to build rapport, or receive concessions you’d like the other person to make.
The reason you should inflate your desires is directly related to the demeanor of this type of negotiator. More than likely, someone that has the traits of a very dogmatic or tough negotiator will try to get as many concessions from you as he can.
The amiable, less dogmatic negotiator
When negotiating with someone that is less dogmatic, someone that is more amiable, you can be more exact in what you want from the negotiation, but still have some ‘give backs’ on reserve to make this type of negotiator happy with the process of the negotiation. The type of individual that will possess an amiable style of negotiation will be less likely to exhaust the ‘give and take’ process as you negotiate. This style of negotiator will enjoy the negotiation process as long as the negotiation doesn’t get too challenging. Nevertheless, you still have to be engaging to the degree that you’re not perceived as being overbearing or too weak to negotiate with this person. Be very ‘even handed’ with this type of negotiator and make sure you’re perceived as doing so.
The passive or meek negotiator
When negotiating with a passive or meek negotiator, do not be overbearing. Don’t allow your actions to be perceived as being pushy. Let this type of negotiator perceive himself as being in control of the negotiation. As in all negotiations, you can observe the person’s body language to gain insight into the way you’re being perceived, but pay extra attention to this person’s body language, because you’ll be able to read their body language more succinctly.
If you’re being perceived as too pushy, dogmatic, or overbearing, you’ll run the risk of alienating the person that uses this style of negotiation and the consequences could be the loss of the deal.
Project the image of being gentle and somewhat meek with this type of negotiator. Don’t raise your voice, or make wild gestures during the negotiation. To the degree you can project the perception that they are in control of the negotiation, do so. You’ll be able to get a lot more out of the negotiation by being ‘soft’ with someone displaying this style of negotiation, than you could if you played the role of the ‘tough guy’.
When negotiating, always consider the characteristics, makeup, and overall negotiation style of the person with whom you’re negotiating and adjust your negotiation style accordingly. By doing so, you’ll be better synchronized with that person’s demeanor and style of negotiation, which should allow you to maneuver in a more expedient manner towards the goals of the negotiation … and everything will be right with the world.
The Negotiation Lessons are…
Before sitting down to negotiate, determine how, when, and how much of your overall goal you’ll disclose for the negotiation. Part of that decision will be based on the type of person you’re negotiating with. To the degree that you understand the character and makeup of the person you’re negotiating with, you’ll have insight into how much they may assist you in reaching your goals.
- When negotiating, always make your negotiation partner feel that he has ‘worked’ to obtain the outcome he received from the negotiation. Make him feel he’s ‘earned’ the outcome. If you make the negotiation and its outcome too easy, he’ll wonder if he could have done better, which could lead to having the negotiation reopened.
- When negotiating, determine how much, or how little pressure should be brought to bear on a situation. Be cognizant of the reaction you receive when making offers and counteroffers and be prepared to adjust them according to the plans you’ve made for the outcome of the negotiation. Don’t be ‘heavy handed’ when a ‘light touch’ could suffice.