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2011-08-16 17:32:45

Adjust Your Focus

Hello Good Negotiators

It's no secret that there are more negative thinkers than positive ones.  As a result, many who enter into a negotiation, think negatively and assume that all the power, all the leverage is on the other side.  These folks need to adjust their focus.


Adjust Your Focus

Good negotiators spend less time dwelling on their own circumstances and pressures and dwell more on determining the pressures facing their opponent.  They adjust their focus from themselves and toward the other party.

Consider this:

If the other party didn't need the deal they wouldn't be talking to you.

If the other party seems nonchalant and detached, they're probably faking.

The other party almost always has pressures that we won't ever know.

Too many of us tend to become understandably self centered and self focused leading up to and during a negotiation.  That narrow field of perspective limits our effectiveness and eventually our results.

If you haven't learned this valuable negotiation strategy, do it now.  Adjust your focus from your self, your wants and your needs to trying to see the pressures on your opponent.

How often have we heard of people who face production quotas, steep overhead, fierce online competition, cheap knock offs, heavy debt service, overdue bills and falling sales.  Why would we think that these pressures wouldn't apply to people we negotiate with?

Many of our opponents put on a stern face and communicate an attitude of little concern while inwardly they want the deal desperately.  If their posturing gives them power over us, it is simply because we allow that to happen.

So what's our strategy in adjusting our focus?  Four key points:

1. Ask yourself,  "What could be putting pressure on your opponent in these negotiations?"  Even if we can't figure it out, we can be assured that it's probably there.  Moving the focus from us to them is powerful!

2. Focus more on pre-negotiating research as to prices, costs and competition.  Don't put all your eggs in one basket and don't go in uninformed.  Knowledge helps that adjusted focus.

3. Don't agree to a deal at the first meeting.  We get lazy and just want to get it over with in one fell swoop.  By having a strategy to go so far, break off discussions and come back another day is a winner.  We can often ratchet up the pressure on the other side by simply adding patience to our adjusted focus.

4. Focus on improving the relationship with your opponent.  Don't limit the discussions only to the item being negotiated.  Showing some modest concern of the other party, as a person, can remove barriers and even enable concessions we normally wouldn't achieve.

In an earlier tip I shared the statistics that reveal that one's aspirations going into a negotiation radically influence the outcome.

Good negotiators know that adjusting one's focus can make all the difference as we Keep Negotiating. 

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