Promonoise -- How to Negotiate

  • Mar 31, 2022

Negotiation is all about exploiting a weakness, calling-in a favor, or leveraging a relationship.

And if you believe any of that, you’re definitely from a bygone era.

When we contemplate the word “negotiation,” it typically conjures-up images of confrontation and an us against them mentality -- a la hostage negotiation or at the used car lot. But the most effective way to mentally prepare for a negotiation is to think of it as a team sport. I know that seems kind of odd given our experience negotiating over the years, but it’s also a pretty cutting-edge concept.

When we’re negotiating a big deal, we traditionally view the other party as an adversary. In fact, when I studied the art of sales earlier in my career, I was taught that after delivering the close, I should wait for an answer.  Moreover, I was told that the next person who speaks after the close is delivered, “loses.”

How silly is that? Yet, this is what prominent sales superstars were teaching back in the day. I distinctly remember “winning” a lot of orders that way, but the fleeting feeling of what I’ll call success didn’t last any longer than a minute. This is because I wasn’t tethered to the real outcome.

In every negotiation, there should be two consistencies:

1) A common objective, and...

2) The genuine desire to reach a mutually successful outcome.

In a team sport like hockey, every decision made during the game is a negotiation. "If I pass the puck to my teammate, does it make it easier to satisfy our common goal (pardon the pun), or is shooting the puck a good decision?"

Everything is a negotiation.  

Another viewpoint I’d like to share is the mentality of approaching a negotiation with the next deal in mind.

In fact, pretend that the deal you’re working on is already in the books and you’re negotiating the next one. If you enter the negotiation with that mindset, you’re operating from a partnership perspective, with the feeling that you’re already partners. Thinking ahead to the next deal, you’ll make decisions from a pricing and service standpoint that consider a larger picture; one that encompasses multiple deals and enhanced partnership.

Can you see how your perspective on pricing would change if you knew that the next two or three deals were a foregone conclusion?

The key to long term prosperity is relationship-based. Thinking of negotiations as a team sport is a much more fruitful approach to foundational relationship building than trying your hardest for the “big deal.” You’re not competing for a set of steak knives anymore; you’ve graduated from that type of stick and carrot approach.

Build relationships and the deals will come.

Let's keep making beautiful noise together!



Feel free to contact Alex directly with any questions or support.