Few things strike fear in a person more than the thought of sitting across the table from someone negotiating.
Whether it’s at the car dealership, convincing a toddler to take a nap or navigating through an argument with your spouse; life is all about negotiations.
From birth we learn how to go back and forth in an effort to get what we want. In fact, we perfect this skill by early adolescence and use it to manipulate others. I often share with clients how we listen to the same radio station, WIIFM or What’s In It For Me?
It’s important to establish credibility in the beginning: People do business with people they instinctively like. Now this isn’t some deep rooted personal connection. This is simply a ‘gut’ feeling we get about someone new we meet. Your body language, facial expressions and mannerism speak volumes about who we are. Get in the habit of putting people at ease, then let them know you are there to assist.
Poke the bear, uncover their need/pain level: We all do what we do for do reasons; stopping pain or creating pleasure. That’s it! If you are ever going to be successful in your dealing with people, you must answer those two issues. When you ‘poke the bear’ you are purposefully bringing to the surface issues so you can demonstrate how you can help. Have confidence that everyone you meet really does want the pain to stop.
Don’t focus on how, focus on why: I love talking to clients and letting them know if they create a big enough ‘WHY’ they won’t have to stress about ‘HOW’. When something is important, humans always find a way to make it happen. It’s just in our DNA. When you know ‘why’ a person wants a thing, you can better serve their life.
Don’t stop asking until ‘you’ are convinced and understand: It will get uncomfortable. It may even get testy. But on the other side of this awkwardness is a tremendous breakthrough. We are usually right on the verge of something good with people and we just fall short. Maybe our patience runs out or we think it isn’t worth it. Remember, we are like onions in that we have layers. Keep peeling until you both understand where you are coming from.
Photo Credit: Bill Strain