Purpose

Practical tips to accelerate your negotiation:  

  1. Game Plan 
  2. Negotiate Your Negotiation 
  3. Engage in Tension 

If you negotiate right, you can be the most powerful person in a discussion. But traditional schooling does an awful job showing you it’s possible. 

Here are 3 ways you can accelerate your negotiations. 

Game Plan    

Most negotiations are won before they begin. 

Your odds of victory sky-rocket when you prepare a game plan. Most people never do it because it’s extra work, but you’re not like most people. For every 20 minutes of negotiating, try to prepare 10 minutes. 

Answer these questions:

  • What is my goal in this negotiation?
  • What are their goals?
  • What are potential barriers to an agreement?

Like a runner training for a marathon, you should identify and visualize your aspirations before running your race. Lucky you, no need to run 26.2 miles! 

Negotiate Your Negotiation  

The most dangerous negotiations are the ones you don’t know you’re in. 

Start by agreeing on what you’re negotiating. Your environment is energized for mutual agreement when you do. Skip this and you might spend time pursuing a false reality – like the Dallas Cowboys winning a Superbowl! 

Ask your counterpart:  

  • What are we discussing today? 
  • What are we hoping to accomplish together? 
  • What topics are most important to cover so our meeting is most impactful for you?   

You could say:

Before we get into our discussion, I wanted to confirm we’re planning to collaborate on the contract terms, investment options, and the anticipated timeline. Is that correct? Did I miss anything important to you? 

Engage In Tension 

Tension drives progress. 

Saying yes to everything robs your persuasive edge. As a recovering people pleaser, standing my ground seemed impossible – believing you can is the first step. To engage in tension compassionately ask open-ended (HOW/WHAT) questions. 

Try saying: 

  • I might be far out of bounds for asking this. What is your biggest hesitation right now to this agreement? 
  • May I ask you a question off the record? I am sensing you don’t like this agreement – I could be wrong. Where do you think I fell short? 
  • This is probably the most uncomfortable part of the conversation for me. It sounds like we should talk about pricing now. Is that ok?

Stretch yourself to be uncomfortable! 

You have permission to push yourself because you might come to find the successful person you’re chasing after has been you the whole time.

Shane Ray Martin is the Head of Sales at American Negotiation Institute, where he supports active clients and develops new partnerships with various Fortune 1000 companies and other organizations.

After struggling to have difficult conversations, he began learning about negotiation and applying his new skills in an interesting and sensitive environment at the National Suicide Hotline. With negotiation certifications from Yale and Harvard, he’s on a mission to be a positive generational shift by helping others discover their best lives are on the other side of difficult conversations.

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