All sorts of books and online outlets offer plenty of tips on negotiation and how to do it well. Yet, these tips are uniform in their meaning, although they may look different due to their presentation. So, if you read one source, most probably you know what all other sources will say.
But are there different approaches to negotiations? It turns out, yes. There are several unconventional approaches to negotiating, and you can learn them firsthand from people who do negotiations for a living (and succeed in it, obviously). If you have a look at the page https://cmaconsulting.com.au/services/negotiation-training/ you will find a list of dedicated trainings that teach the kitchen of negotiating and decision-making. Unexpected moves and approaches are on the agenda of these trainings, so book a place on the nearest convenient date.
But still, what is considered unconventional in negotiation, and how it can be used for the benefit of you and your company?
Evaluate the opposite party and act in a similar way
Currently, the reasonable trend is to approach the talks with mutual success in mind. Like, both parties get something valuable and leave the table satisfied and ready to collaborate in the future. Yet, the examples from large-scale talks like those between the USA and the USSR during the Cold War show that it’s better to evaluate the other party first. If they stand rock-hard in their position and are willing to get as much as possible without conceding, do the same. Have a clear vision of your ultimate goal and set your limits that cannot be overstepped. You may leave the table without any result first, but it will give you a reputation of a tough person, and the next round of negotiations will bring a more reasonable approach adopted by the stubborn party.
Release your inner kid
If you are leading a negotiation with a reasonable party but they seem reluctant, let your inner child out. No, we do not suggest that you fall on the floor and throw a tantrum (who knows, though). We just mean that you have to keep in mind that you do deserve to get what you ask for. Then imagine a child in the toys department and be as persistent and slyly stubborn during the negotiation as a kid clutching the new Lego kit.
Place bets randomly but precisely (avoid pretty even figures)
Usually, negotiations on money matters revolve around figures that end in naughts and look nice, like thousands or millions. Instead, bet on numbers that have digits after a comma, like $50,870 or $120,980. These ‘exact’ numbers look like professional calculations done in advance with regard to markets and rates. So when you talk about a specific number you do not want to concede, use this trick and have an explanation for this exactness (a percentage common in the industry, average rates, inclusion/exclusion of taxes, etc.). It significantly improves the chances of getting what you want.
Stick to the idea of ‘being creative’ rather than ‘confronting the enemy’
If another party is reasonable and there is no need for confrontational behavior or thinking, watch your own inner dialogue. If you continue to think in terms of ‘we vs. them’, ‘concession’, and ‘win or lose’, you won’t find any viable solution. Instead, try to rely on more cooperative terminology in your mind, like creativity, common ground, interests, and collaboration. When you look for creative solutions you find them. When you look for the way to tin the ‘enemy’ in the softest spot, you find exactly it, mind that.
Rely on the question ‘why’ instead of ‘what’ and act on the answer
When getting creative, look beyond the upfront demands and ask for their justification. Why this exact number? Why these conditions? Why these dates? When you get the reasons, you can offer solutions to their actual problems, and it boosts negotiations marvelously.
Interested? Need to know more about these approaches? Book training and become a real savvy pro.