Negotiation Skill: Be First to Listen, Think and Reduce Resistance
- It puts you in a stronger position. When you start the conversation by saying, “What do you want me to know?”, you reduce resistance. This allows the person to communicate their thoughts, feelings, ideas, dreams, outcomes, goals.
- Listening “first” allows you to reshape your communication so that it is based on what the other person tells you. You may guess that your customer wants a refund because she didn’t like the product, when in actuality the color or shade was wrong and she would happily accept an exchange for something that was out of stock when she made her original purchase.Always ask to find out what the real problem is. Some people don’t want you to know. Some people don’t know themselves. Some people will be honest with you with open communication.
- You have a great advantage. By listening instead of talking there is almost nothing that the other person can be frustrated with as far as your impending proposal. Strive to listen first. Most good salespeople who negotiate regularly are aware that the “first to name a number” is at “disadvantage.” There is some truth to this. The benefit of listening is that you find out early what the other person/group wants, needs and desires. It’s then a lot easier to give them what they want while you get what you need to take away.
- Listening first means you are likeable. No one listens first. It’s rare. It’s not even easy for most people to listen. And importantly, it’s polite to let the other person go first. By going last, you come across as likeable and polite if you step back.
Listening doesn’t mean you shut your mouth and wait until the other person is done talking. And, the last thing you want to do is drone on about your own thoughts, feelings and beliefs about why you are right and they are wrong. Instead, listening means you truly seek to understand their point of view, and what motivates them.
What follows are some specific behaviors you can exhibit to foster a favorable outcome.
What you can do …
Negotiation Skill: Listen with Fascination, Curiosity, and Focus
Feed back portions of conversation to the other person that show you understand at many levels. Reflecting verbatim messages can be important. Being certain that you have captured the intent of communication is even MORE important.
Do you understand WHY and WHAT they want? Could you articulate it effectively and be compelling with an independent party? That’s how you know you have access to their perspective.
When they see that you understand them at a deep level, you are able to be on their wavelength.
EVERYONE SCREWS THIS UP.
Let me give you an example from this week at a personal level.
“You don’t even understand what I’m saying.”
Here’s HOW YOU PROVE that you DO know what they are saying-
On the next page…