A “take it or leave it offer” signals a great deal of insecurity on the part of the other side. If they weren’t afraid to negotiate, they would. They’re either afraid they might give in too much, or they’re under some external pressure that’s got them spooked. This gives you leverage.
Yes is a very tricky concept, especially when put it into the negotiation context. First of all, there are 3 types of “yes” – Confirmation, Commitment & Counterfeit – (the 3 ways to “C” yes) as it were. Now while we do not ever advocate aiming for a “yes” or trying to force agreement through “yes”, there will be times when you have to deal with it. Here are the two major ways to handle “yes”.
Last week, I answered questions via a Quora session. One of the great questions I was asked was:
What ways do people signal weakness or strength during negotiations?
Most people who think they are good listeners underperform. There is some research that suggests they do so by as much as 60%. This overconfidence impedes their success as it prevents them from truly understanding the motivation of the other side.
Do you want to make the transition to being an excellent negotiator? No matter where you are on the journey, here are 5 critical steps that you'll need to take along this path.
My last article in The Edge called “The Problem with Tell Me More” left a few people asking “What do you say instead?”. This article is meant to give some insight on how to change your approach and make your communication efforts more influential. You can also find out more about the ideas I am going to share here, in Chris’s book “Never Split the Difference” Chapter 7.
This particular article is for you if:
- You want every edge and you want to protect your good working relationships
- You can wrap your mind around the idea that deference is not submission
- You want to become a truly dangerous negotiator
Sam Felder (not his real name) had barricaded himself in his home. Suffering from hellacious migraines and post-traumatic stress, he told his wife he could not take it anymore. Sam loaded his handgun and told her to leave. She complied, ran to a neighbor’s house, and called the police. Police attempted to negotiate with Sam for close to 10 hours. It was the end of June and sweltering out. The agency managing the incident elected to cut power to Sam’s home. It was done, I was told, because Sam had been using power tools to barricade himself into the basement of the home with planks and 2x4s. Not sure if it was a move I would have made based on the circumstances but it was done. The managing agency reached out to my team for mutual aid support.
In a Q & A session I did for the internet based forum Quora: I answered the question “What’s the worst mistake you can make in salary negotiations?” with this answer: “Simply saying “yes” or “I accept” to an offer.
Whether or not you realize it we have all used “tell me more” when questioning someone about a topic we want to know more about. More often than not our intentions are inquisitive and open-ended but we forget that the simplest definition of an open-ended question is one that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no”. Unfortunately at times our desire to know more gets in the way of the mission to be collaborative.