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Industry, Education

December 19, 2018

Negotiating Tip 57: S-L-O-W Down

Slowing the pace has so many advantages!

Americans just have to get things done quickly.  Instant this, drive through that, microwave now and high-speed internet capture our obsession with speed.  But when negotiating, the watchwords are slow down. 

When we slow down we can more effectively research, plan, strategize and frame our power language.  

But slowing is equally, if not more, important for what it can do to our negotiating opponents.  Most specifically it provides our opponents with 'acceptance time'. 

We all can appreciate that people need time to accept anything new, different or challenging.  While parties enter negotiations hoping to get what they want quickly and easily, that's rarely possible for BOTH parties.

Assumptions and Misconceptions

Sometimes parties make incorrect assumptions or have misconceptions.  The high price desired by the seller or the low price hoped for by the buyer are not as easily obtained as they had anticipated.  Getting frustrated, anxious or putting pressure on our opponent to accept a proposal is just unrealistic and worse, counterproductive.  Build in more acceptance time.  As a matter of fact, if your opponent does accept your proposal quickly, it's typically a sign that you're paying too much as a buyer or selling too cheaply as a seller.

Concessions take time.  S-l-o-w down the bargaining, especially when you want someone to consider and even accept your (aggressive) proposal. Take a break.  Step away.  Indicate that you want to make a call, crunch some numbers or just ponder alone for a moment. 

While you're doing that, your opponent will be adjusting his position, considering what could work and even getting acclimated to accepting less than they'd hoped for.

Good negotiators know how to slow down the process and provide their opponent with that much-needed acceptance time.  Factor this into your next encounter as you KEEP Negotiating.

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