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2011-03-21 22:10:17

The Best Response

Hello Good Negotiators

I think most would agree that negotiating is nothing more than responding to proposals and counter proposals.  That said, what should be considered when responding?  Is there a best response?


The Best Response


Our response to a proposal is often delayed because we don't know what to say.  The appliance store clerk blows us away with an unexpected high price.  Our teenager asks to go away for the weekend with friends to a questionable event and destination.  Our boss wants to know if we'll take on another massive project with a short completion date.  Someone asks, "What will you take for that?"

 

What if we don't have the knack of making a quick, decisive and ready-made reply?  What if we seem to be stunned and speechless? 

 

Relax, your natural reaction is the best response.  Put another way, often the best response is no response. The power of silence is awesome. 

 

The American culture tends to force quick comment on everything immediately whether we are ready or not.  Often that's done before we're mentally engaged.  Again, the best response is to say nothing.

 

Looking puzzled, confused and unable to speak conveys just the right message.  The message is that their proposal/price/idea is so out of line it makes us speechless.  Do you think this technique will impact the store clerk, your teen, your boss and even the fellow wanting to know your price?  You know it will.

 

That strategic non-response will also give you time to compose a response and convey clearly that the proposal you just received isn't likely to be accepted.

 

I'll leave the content of your reply to you, but I'd strongly suggest the initial reaction, the immediate response is stone silence combined your famous puzzled or pained look.

 

An old axiom is worth repeating here....Don't say anything that won't improve on silence.

 

Good negotiators are known to be effective first responders.  They know that the best response is often no response at all.  KEEP Negotiating.

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