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Getting Past No by William Ury
Negotiating in Difficult Situations
When we are negotiating, we try to get the other person to agree with us.
No matter if it is a sale, requesting a raise from your boss, everyone wants to win. On the other hand, this need to “win” often means that we cannot reach the best possible agreement.
“Getting Past No Summary”
Start Controlling Your Emotions
When you deal with others, unfortunately, you also have to deal with your negative feelings. If they refuse to negotiate with you, they are likely nervous, upset, or have some other negative feeling about the possible negotiation or even about you.
So we need to find out what this reason is for us to be able to overcome the “No” and turn it into an active negotiation.
If you understand each other’s problems, you will be able to overcome them.
The first step is to leave your negative feelings aside so that the problem is affected only by the emotions of those on the other side.
Wanting to react when someone offends you is natural, but it can result in a purposeless discussion.
Avoid closing and keep communication open. Be flexible and understanding, never bothering critics and attacks.
It is also important to know each other. Recognize when you are losing control of your emotions.
If you are feeling that your thinking is being affected by negative emotions, you will not be able to conduct a proper negotiation.
This control is a tactic used by some negotiators: appealing to your emotion to leave you vulnerable and thus exploit your weakness.
To prevent this from happening, think about negotiating calmly and ask yourself: What is the worst possible scenario in which this negotiation can end?
Once you have drawn your worst case scenario, plan what you would do if this scenario were to occur. In some cases, the best reaction is not to react: pause and be silent in the middle of the negotiation.
When this happens, their lack of response surprises the other, because we usually react when we are pressured.
Counting up to ten is also very useful at these times.
You are not able to control the other’s behavior, but you can control yours.
Try to take a step back mentally and emotionally: this will help you to see things more objectively. Think and then respond, instead of reacting instinctively, or defending and resisting.
Having control of your behavior is the first step in overcoming the other’s “no.”
Demonstrate Respect For The Other Party
If you are trying to be rational with someone, know that this will sometimes not work because they do not want to be rational.
They may be suspicious, nervous, or frustrated. The key here is to make the other person at least listen to you.
Often the problem is that no one has heard it before, or she has had to explain herself countless times to be heard. If she wants to expose her grievances, it might be best to let her do it.
Also, show her that you are happy to listen and, when possible, agree with her. She expects you to be resilient and this is your opportunity to prove that you are different and deserve a conversation.
An apology is a great start to gaining the confidence and respect of your opponent. Far from showing weakness, an excuse may be a sign that you are taking responsibility and controlling the situation.
Another important factor is showing respect and recognizing the opponent’s skills.
Sometimes the problem is that the other person feels threatened or believes that you are not accepting their authority. Assure her that you know she has authority.
Use phrases like “with your permission” and “if you agree” and also reinforce the other’s competence, using phrases like “I thank you for your patience” or “Thank you for your explanation of this detail”.
If we consult others, they are more likely to accept any change we suggest. When you allow them to participate, they feel valued.
So instead of imposing a change, schedule a meeting to explain what might happen and ask their point of view and their fears. Listen to the answers and give feedback.
If you demonstrate patience, persistence and demonstrate a genuine desire to listen and engage the other side, then everyone is more likely to participate in the negotiations.
Everyone Has The Right To Have Their Opinions
In most discussions, one party raises a point of view and clings to it, supporting arguments with other additional points; the other side uses the opposite case and defends its position.
Unfortunately, this forces both parties to choose one side and to argue.
So try to get rid of those awkward places. Stop the comfortable routine and strategies that the other person is accustomed, and get rid of automatic reactions by considering more open and creative solutions.
Start by trying to see the other’s point of view. Even if something seems completely irrational to you, it may be that the person has a valid argument.
Tell her that you are sure that she has a good reason for her position and that you would like to understand her; so ask for their reasons.
For example, if the other side is suggesting a price for a service, which is three times that of competitors, ask if it can explain what factors led to that value.
Do they use better quality products? Are they qualified specialists? Do they provide a guarantee that other companies do not provide?
The point of view may be reasonable – and you will begin to understand why they used that particular approach – or it will be irrational, and they will not be able to explain.
In that case, this will become apparent quickly, and will no longer have leverage in the negotiation.
Try to agree with each other whenever possible. It may be that you do not agree with some points, but you should at least recognize that the other side considers them necessary.
Find common points and record them in your speech.
That is a constructive step in getting someone to respect you – giving evidence that you recognize and understand the person.
If you are willing to show respect and know that everyone has the right to their own opinions, then the other side is forced to do the same.
Communicate Persuasively And Optimistically
The way you communicate is one of the fundamental pillars of effective negotiation.
Once you learn to master your emotions to talk to the other party, you can still do more to ensure that the emotional tone of the discussions remains positive and does not turn into a dispute.
The first step is to practice using languages that avoid adverse reactions.
Individuals feel defensive if you point out something they said and try to use it against them.
With just simple changes in communication, it is easy to reformulate the language and have a more polished and appropriate tone.
Instead of referring to the other person negatively or using something that she said to illustrate a point, focus on talking about yourself and include a positive goal.
Talk less of each other and more about yourself.
A good example would be to use the phrase “I feel we could save more” instead of “you are wasting our money.”
A good example of a question would be “How can we generate more savings for the future.” company in the future?
So you forget the present and the past and adopt a positive and optimistic communication.
Show that you understand what the other person is saying so that they will convince themselves that you are still listening.
Whenever possible, rephrase what the other person said and tell how you feel about it.
Phrases like “if I understood correctly, you think item x is necessary, and you are frustrated because it is not included in the scope, right? “Or” I know how you feel about item z of our conversation.”
To move forward, the next step is to get the other person to understand your point of view. Ask for advice, using questions that help them understand it.
Use phrases like “if you were in my position, what would you do?” Or “if you were me, what would you say to one of your employees?”.
Asking advice from the other party also usually works well and shows respect.
As you convince them to negotiate with you, remember that the method and content of your communication control the tone of the discussions.
Learning to rephrase your sentences to control the direction of your negotiations is an essential skill to succeed.
Sometimes just rephrasing something that could offend the other party is enough to direct the negotiation to a positive outcome for both sides.
Making Them Agree With You
When you are already negotiating and close to an agreement, it may be that the other side is still reluctant to close the deal. However, there are several ways to go about this disagreement.
The first is to accustom the other party with “yes,” which is a psychologically very positive word.
A good way to change the tone of the conversation is to start talking even negative things differently, which will force the person to say “yes” to you.
For example, “So, you’re saying you’re nervous and frustrated with our company?” “Yes!”
“What would you like, a full refund?” “Yes!” This simple tactic helps condition the other person to agree with you and, little by little, she will be saying yes to more daring demands on your part.
Another important point: whenever possible, make proposals seem to be the idea of the other side.
Ask for suggestions and, if they agree with you, build something on these ideas: “I liked your idea of …” or “regarding the suggestions you gave yesterday, I have been analyzing them and would like to explore them further. What do you think? ”
Avoid placing the person in a position where they are tempted to respond negatively.
A few phrases sound like taunts and softening them helps you get deals more quickly.
Instead of using phrases such as “can you explain how it got to that value,” try “what factors were taken into account when you considered this quote?”
And instead of “we can close the deal today,” try “what we need to agree today? ”
Your proposal should always be favorable to both parties. What do they want and what are you providing in the negotiation?
Consider that the other side may have interests other than money.
Do they want to maintain their autonomy? Visibility in the media? Recognition of the market? If you can help them achieve these goals, they are more likely to say yes to you.
Remove any obstacles in the way of the business, so you get a “yes” more quickly.
Make Offers They Can’t Refuse
After showing the other party how easy it is to say “yes,” you can also indicate that this is the best option for negotiating and reaching an agreement.
You need to alert them to the cost and impact of not doing business with you.
But before you dig deeper into this, be aware that there is a fine line between alerting people and making a threat.
An alert gives information about what is likely to happen, while the threat suggests an action that will be taken to hurt the other side in some way.
Threats put the other person in a defensive mode, while warnings can help make opponents think about disastrous consequences.
The phrase “I will sue you if you do not cooperate” is a threat, while “If we do not reach an agreement and we need to settle in court, it can be costly, don’t you agree?”
You should also ask what will happen if there is no agreement. Not making decisions is the same as deciding to do nothing.
Continue to contrast the two alternatives, and this will make it easier to choose the most natural alternative.
Use phrases such as “if this keeps happening and we do not come to an agreement, what do you think I should do?” Or “how do you think your members will feel when they find out that you have refused the opportunity to go in the direction of giving up? ”
If your opponents still resist reaching an agreement, you can warn them of the consequences without threatening them.
When comparing the alternatives of the proposal, they should feel that refusing the terms will have an unwanted impact on their lives.
Avoid “Take It Or Leave It” Proposals
You should always avoid making a proposal that is a final offer, and that cannot be negotiated. This type of offer has an expiration date and is widely used by less sophisticated sellers.
One of the most common sales techniques is to press the person offering a significant discount that is only available for purchase on that day.
If this comes up in a negotiation, be aware that the person on the other side is pressing you.
Thank the person for the offer, summarize everything the other party has provided and said that you will talk to your team before answering.
Take the time to gauge if that scenario is right for you and do not decide in the heat of the moment.
If you need to make the decision immediately, ask to make a quick call to someone and leave the room to make that call.
That can give you a safe emotional distance to think and make a balanced decision. If the person on the other side refuses to let you think about the offer, then it is probably best to give up.
There are obvious dangers in making deals without exploiting the consequences or alternatives.
If the deal is excellent, the other party should allow you to figure it out, instead of putting pressure on you to decide quickly.
Your opponent may put you under pressure, but that does not mean he has control over you.
If you do not have time to consider the impacts of a fast decision, you may regret the decision in the future.
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