You probably have numerous regular negotiations throughout the year - with both internal and strategic external parties. However, there’s someone you negotiate with more frequently - yourself!
I believe there are two critical moments where we become our own worst enemy in a negotiation.
The first is when we are preparing for negotiations. I’d say most people believe they are in a worse position than they are before the negotiation has even begun. For example, I hear salespeople say buyers have all the power because they can create a competitive environment playing sellers off one another. But when I work with buyers, they think sellers have more power because they know their business, margins and services inside out. How can that be?
I ask that when you are preparing, to be optimistic with your positions and don’t let assumptions get the better of you. If you do not have a structured process for preparation, you need one. It will give you confidence and you’ll be less likely to negotiate against yourself. Be positive, open minded and test those assumptions in the negotiation.
The second is after a proposal is made. You’re waiting for a response to your proposal and your mind might go to work.
“They don’t like it”
“It’s going to get rejected”
“I’ve ruined the deal”
“I’ve hurt the relationship”
“I look a bit silly”
“I need to add more value in.”
If you have prepared well and had a good discovery and disclosure step in the negotiation, your proposal should stand up. Back yourself, wait or seek a response.
It’s also OK when your proposal is rejected - it will allow you to seek to understand why and enable an opportunity to build a bigger deal with additional items. I love it when my proposal is rejected as I get to negotiate more!
The more you trade the more valuable deals become. If you’d like to understand more about this, get in touch.