Negotiation and Crafting Vision

Been studying up on negotiation and some time in the near future I’d like to put together a decent presentation about what I’ve learned. One thing that is interesting about negotiation is that it is difficult to teach or to give someone else advice because different things work for different people based on various factors (age, experience, style). It is kind of similar to kung fu. A kung fu master could tell you the most coveted secrets and it wouldn’t mean anything to you until years later you had ears to hear it.

Years ago I was taught that negotiation is a matter of providing the ‘opposing’ party with a positive vision of how your solution plays out. The idea seemed so obvious. Help the person to see your solution playing out in their mind’s eye. You could take it even further by adding some nlp ideas such as determining what modality the person favors, what key words are hot buttons in their mind, etc. but what counts is what they are seeing. It is what is in their mind that drives the negotiation.

This can include emphasis on pain points of not using your solution, or questions that help to create that vision. These questions help to create the vision of the problem:

  • What are the biggest challenges you are facing?
  • What have you done for SEO in the past?
  • What has kept you from working with someone?
  • What do you want to see happen here?
  • What system do you have in place that ensures that these websites make money?
  • What happens after you do all of this work on these sites and the orders remain flat?
  • What is the #1 rule that you’re going to follow while developing content for these sites?
[Edit: I found these questions in a book called Value Based Fees, by Alan Weiss] These questions help to create the vision of successful completion and the associated value:
  • What will be the difference in your organization and the conclusion of this project?
  • What if you did nothing?
  • What if this project failed?
  • Have projects like this failed before? What was that like?
  • What will you be able to do that you can’t do now?
  • What will be the effect on revenue? (sales, profits, market share, etc)
  • What will be the difference for your reputation?
  • What are the 3 greatest impacts of the results of this project’s success?
  • What will your boss’s reaction be to this success?
  • What will this mean to you personally?
  • What peripheral and secondary value do you see accruing to this project?
  • What will you be the proudest of at the conclusion of this project?
  • What will be the legacy of this project?
  • What will it mean to be on the leading edge, the thought leader in the field?

We Sell Hope

One of the most important things to understand is that decisions are made emotionally and then justified logically. As the chairman of Revlon said, “In the factory, we make hypo-allergenic pigments. In the stores, we sell hope.”

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