Today’s Kallum with a K Blog: I’m sure you’ve been involved in thousands of negotiations in your life. With customers, friends and family members, and with suppliers - and kids, if you have any!
What is your negotiation strategy?
Do you do whatever you can to win? Do you exploit weaknesses you perceive in the other side?
And do you even consider their interests? Be honest with yourself.
Whilst it’s easy to only think about ourselves at times, it’s vital to consider what the other person really wants in a negotiation!
Broadly speaking, there are two opposing schools of thought when it comes to negotiations: transactional and relational.
Simply put: do you only see every negotiation as a one-off encounter, so only think about your self-interest, or do you look long-term, and try to build relationships?
One of the points raised in the seminar really resonated with me:
“Trade what is cheap to you, but what is valuable to them”.
In other words, instead of only considering price in negotiations, look the whole picture. How else can you add value to a deal without cutting your price - or asking for more, if you’re the seller?
By doing research in advance of any negotiation, asking questions and actively listening, you should be able to find something that really matters to the other party, something that they will really value.
This is not about manipulation, being unethical or exploiting someone - it’s about making a better deal for both sides. This is key in most negotiations: both sides should feel like they have won.
3 quick examples of adding value to deals:
1. If you are selling a car you may be able to avoid slashing the asking price if you: ensure that it has current road tax, it’s passed an MOT in the last few months or has been recently valeted.
2. If you’re a tailor, don’t discount the price of your suits. One thing you could do instead is to include a free tie with the purchase, for example. This adds value to the customer, and is possibly cheaper for you to do than cutting your margin by discounting the price of your suits!
3. If you’re looking to get your food products stocked in a local deli, you can do a few things which can help you here. These activities can also help them with sales (so they’ll order more from you!), and enhance the customer experience. For example, you could: offer staff training to educate them about the product, offer to do a sampling day for customers, or give the shop in-store banners and other marketing signage - called Point of Sales or POS.
Remember, try to establish what the other party really wants in a negotiation. Think win-win. And look at ways to add value to make the deal better by trading what is cheap to you but valuable to the other party.
Kallum with a K
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