Use one of these 12 persuasion tactics in your next negotiation
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 few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.
(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)
Negotiation is the art of persuasion applied in myriad ways – subtle or blatant, crafty or direct, aggressive or friendly, simple or complex – to achieve your objectives. So a great negotiator, by definition, must be persuasive. Below is a brief description of 12 basic kinds of persuasion commonly used by great negotiators.
#1 Confidence, which may include charisma, passion, self-assurance, is a magnetic persuasive force that draws others into its wake. Confidence does not include arrogance, pushiness, cockiness, or false pride, which only create scepticism, doubts, and resistance in others. Genuine confidence is an essential trait in a great negotiator.
#2 Expertise – detailed and fluent knowledge in a particular area – gives you credibility and authority in that area, and inspires trust and confidence in others about you. You can be the most confident person in the room, but if you lack expertise, your ability to persuade others will be severely hampered. To be a great negotiator you must develop real expertise in your field.
#3 Eloquence is the decorative icing on the conversational cake and an advantage in a negotiation setting. Eloquence is a memorable attribute and a persuasive force in almost every situation. But not everyone has the gift of true eloquence. And, while it is a wonderful quality, fortunately it is not an essential quality for a great negotiator. You can and ought to develop some degree of eloquence by practicing public speaking and conversational skills, and by studying and learning from other eloquent people. And you can make up for a lack of eloquence by developing other essential qualities like confidence, expertise, empathy, image and more.
#4 Image and appearance are connected. How you look, dress, talk, act, and so forth are elements of appearance conveying an image that defines you as a person. A great negotiator makes sure his or her appearance and image are positively persuasive. A neat, clean, well-groomed, well-mannered, presentable, thoughtful, articulate, classy, or attractive person projects a positive image that most people find appealing. A slovenly, poorly dressed, unkempt, socially awkward, or ill-mannered person projects a negative image that most people find unappealing. Most people are more likely to trust and want to do business with the former, and less likely to be persuaded to do business with the latter. So cultivate an image that projects confidence, ability, and trustworthiness and it will serve you well in all the negotiations of life.
#5 Incentives are a simple, tangible form of persuasion. Real, sufficiently substantial incentives often work whether or not you are eloquent, confident, powerful, well-dressed, friendly, or have expertise or a great reputation. So it’s always good to have incentives ready to offer when you go into a negotiation.
#6 Quality is the most practical and lasting form of persuasion. Quality service or a quality product usually earns a quality reputation and a loyal clientele. Quality is what people want to get, bottom line, whenever they spend their money. A reputation for quality virtually guarantees business longevity and respect. If you consistently provide quality, you will outlast, outsell, and outperform those who promise more but deliver less. Delivering quality to your customers always serves you and them in the long run.
#7 People tend to seek out people they trust, and avoid people they mistrust, especially where business is concerned. Trustworthiness is an inherently appealing and persuasive quality, and so it is essential in a great negotiator. Trustworthiness is the quality others feel from your combined integrity, thoughtfulness, fairness, reliability, and consistency. When you keep your word, deliver on your promises, and provide quality services or products, you are trustworthy in the business world. If you practice these traits consistently, your reputation for trustworthiness will grow to be worth its metaphorical weight in gold.
#8 Prestige is a notable reputation that grants unique authority and influences others. Your prestige persuades without words, even before you walk into the room. Prestige may come from an important family name; from a reputation earned through years of hard work; from fame acquired through skill or talent; from honourable and diligent persistence over time; or even from a lucky break that makes you rich or famous. There is no guarantee of prestige for anyone but if you work long and hard to excel in all the areas presented in this book you will dramatically increase your chances of attaining this exalted crown.
#9 There is no substitute for good strategy in a negotiation, and no good reason not to have one every time you walk into a negotiation. A good strategy is intelligently designed to persuade the other party over the course of a negotiation into making a decision that benefits both of you. A good strategy takes foreseeable variables into account, including possible resistance and objections the other party might have in the matter at hand. For every possible pitfall or problem that might arise, you want to prepare a counter-response that shows the bright side or offers a compensatory element or plausible solution that clears the way.
#10 When all else fails and you’ve run out of leverage, influence, or inspiration, persistence sometimes still wins the day. A determined spirit of persistence, the willingness to keep trying, the refusal to give up in the face of obstacles or disappointment, is a quality every negotiator should have in reserve.
#11 Flattery, or appeals to the other party’s vanity, is the most basic and common form of persuasion. Flattery can take the form of simple compliments: “You look great in that dress,” or “You look very fit; have you been working out?” or “I found your talk at the conference very inspiring,” or “I’ve admired your work for a long time.” The important thing is to be, or at least sound, completely sincere. When it comes to flattery, it’s best to err on the side of subtlety. Poorly executed flattery can be a turn-off. If you “lay it on too thick” it easily becomes what is commonly called “ass-kissing,” which, rather than lifting up the other person and establishing a positive connection, diminishes you and creates awkwardness and distance.
#12 If the other party genuinely believes that you sincerely want to help them, that you believe what you are offering them in this negotiation will be sincerely for their benefit, rather than just for your benefit, then this is usually a powerful persuader.