I can think of nothing more frustrating than being involved in a negotiation where you just don’t seem to be able to move the discussions to a close no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques you use. You are putting the time, energy, and effort into the negotiations and yet the end point just seems to keep moving farther and farther away from you. When you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s time to take a step back and see if there is some sort of action that you are going to be able to take that will allow you to finally get to the end in this negotiation.
Make Use Of The Clock
Negotiations can seem to go on and one. The reason for this is because neither side has all that much of an incentive to wrap things up. We all understand that any given negotiation will generally expand to fill the time that is available. What we need to realize is that in other negotiations, such as legal cases and potential strikes, always seem to wrap up at the very last minute. What’s going on here?
Until there is a reason to wrap a negotiation up, to the other side the ongoing costs of a negotiation that doesn’t seem to be ending won’t appear to be all that great. In order to get your negotiation to move along quicker, it’s always a good idea to impose a deadline on the talks at the start. Alternatively, you can also attach a fuse to any proposals that you make – they will only be valid for a specific period of time before expiring. However, you’ll need to be careful here because you don’t want the other side to feel that you are placing them under artificial pressure.
Be Sure To Count Your Change
In order for a negotiation to close, you are going to have to be happy with the deal that you’ve been able to put together. However, there will be times that the other side starts to play tricks as the negotiations appear to start to be winding down. A classic technique is to reach an agreement with the other side only to have them come back to you and reject it and demand more from you. When this happens, you need to push back.
You need to be ready for this kind of thing to happen simply because it happens so often. When you are wrapping a deal up, check with the other side to ensure that all of the key provisions have been taken care of. You don’t want to be surprised later on. If the other side comes back with more requests, you should be very cautious about making any unreciprocated concessions. You don’t want to encourage additional requests, so make sure that you get something in return for anything that you provide at this stage in the game.
Write Your Own Deal
If you want to wrap up a negotiation, it’s all going to come down to you being able to sign a deal with the other side. In order for that to happen, no matter what was discussed at the bargaining table, it’s what’s in the final agreement document that is really going to matter. If something that you’ve agreed to does not make it into the final documents or if it is poorly documented, then you are not going to be able to sign the deal and the negotiations will just keep going on.
No, the paperwork that is associated with a negotiation is not very glamorous. However, this is the thing that you have been working towards. No matter how tired you are as the negotiations start to draw to a close, you need to resist the urge to just turn everything over to the other side to wrap it up. Instead, you are going to want to volunteer your team to write up the final agreement. When you do this, you’ll be able to structure the document to account for the risks that you are willing to take and to protect your interests where they are important to you.
What All Of This Means For You
There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than participating in a principled negotiation that just doesn’t seem to wrapping up. Time can pass and you don’t seem to be any close to reaching a deal with the other side than when you got started. What you need are some suggestions as to how you can get this negotiation to move along faster.
The first thing that you want to do whenever you are starting a negotiation is to establish a deadline for the talks at the start. You may also want to attach a fuse to any proposals that you make in order to motivate the other side to move more quickly. Be careful as you start to approach what appears to be the end of the negotiations. The other side may reject your final offer and come back with more demands. Don’t just make concessions, ask for something in return. The actual text of the final deal is very important to you. Offer to write it yourself and then you won’t have to spend the time reviewing a document that was created by the other side.
The good news about all negotiations is that they seem to eventually come to an end. However, how long that is going to take is another story. As a negotiator you need to know what steps you can take in order to get things to move along more quickly. Do the things that you have to do and you’ll find yourself with a signed deal sooner rather than later.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
When you sit down to a negotiation, who is sitting across the table from you? In most cases you are going to be looking at a talented negotiator who is also a skilled persuader. Just like you have a collection of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that you use during a negotiation, so do they. When they start to apply their tactics against you, how are you expected to react? Looks like you are going to need some defensive negotiation strategies.
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