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Make the connection

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Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next 132 days, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

42 Engage and involve

As a general rule in any negotiation, the more time, thought, and energy the other party has invested in the negotiation process, and the more connected they feel to you and your product or service, the greater their commitment will be to a successful outcome. So, you, as a great negotiator, should find ways to engage and involve the other party, getting them to invest time and energy in the transaction, thus increasing their commitment to that successful outcome. Below is a list of strategies for doing this.

  • Begin with a friendly greeting, and then ask easy questions about why they’re here, about their needs, what they like, what they want, what they’re looking for, etc. This establishes basic rapport. Your questions should be designed to evoke or elicit positive feelings and responses and establish a friendly connection, or to elicit agreement, confirmation, or some form of “yes” response.
  • Ask them to come with you (“Let me show you something”) and get them to physically follow you. If it’s not practical to show them by physically moving them try illustrating something in a written document. Let your tone convey helpfulness, enthusiasm, and authority. Getting them to follow you engages them energetically and puts you in a leadership position.
  • When addressing groups, ask questions to elicit an affirmative answer, or invite them to respond by raising a hand or nodding their heads. This connects the group and engages them in mutual agreement with you and your ideas, message, or proposal.
  • With groups or individuals, ask for their advice or opinions on matters related to the area of negotiation. Eliciting opinions or advice gives others the opportunity to share their knowledge, ideas, and expertise. This draws them into a more active involvement with you and your product or service, and moves a negotiation closer to a successful conclusion. However, never ask questions of them that you do not know the answer to. You don’t want to be blindsided by a tough question and have the negotiations going way off track.
  • Describe your product or service in glowing terms, using descriptive and appealing words and tones. Create alluring pictures and scenarios in the mind of the other party that evoke positive feelings about, and a desire for, your product or service. The basic communication is a combination of the product’s actual qualities and virtues, and how good it will feel, how much fun they will have, how convenient it will be, or how much they will benefit from using this product or service. Remember that we talk in words but think in pictures so allow them to create a picture in their mind of the impression you want them to have of your product, service or goal you have in mind.
  • Ask questions designed to get the other party talking about their desire or need for the product, service, or goal you are offering them. When they begin talking about what they need and want relative to your product, service or goal, another level of involvement has occurred.
  • Offer a free trial period, a free sample, or some other non-binding way for them to experience and connect to your product or service.
  • Include the sensory and the sensual wherever possible. Get people connected to you and your product or service through touch, smell and taste. Wearing perfume or cologne subtly and sensually connects you to the other party, even in strictly formal or official situations. Cosmetic representatives may spray perfume on the wrists, or rub lotion on the back of the hands of passersby to establish a sensory/sensual connection. Stores offer food samples to similarly engage and involve potential customers.
  • Consider how a luxury car salesman engages and involves a prospective customer and connects that person to the product through sensory experience. He shows them the car, walks them around it, pointing out its various virtues, luxuries, and feats of engineering. Perhaps he gets them to run their hands over the sleek exterior and then opens a door so they can feel and smell the rich leather interior. Perhaps he paints a verbal picture, asking them to imagine riding on the open road. He invites them to get in and relax into the soft calfskin leather seats and hold the leather-wrapped, handcrafted wooden steering wheel. He has him or her turn on the ignition to feel the vibrating hum of a 400hp engine. Then he invites the customer to take it out for a test drive so he or she can experience its power, engineering, sensuality, prestige, beauty, etc. Getting the other party to touch or hold your product breaks a crucial barrier and opens up new avenues of conversation and negotiation.


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