Here are ten negotiation tips, some sales insights from a friend, and a story about camels and math.
10 Negotiation tips
- Negotiation is not always distributive or zero-sum
- Leading with a positive, win-win mindset tends to help
- If there's >1 issue at stake, there's opportunity to create value
- Distinguish interests from positions
- Ask questions, be curious, and listen
- Widen the range of possible options
- Beware time pressure and fatigue
- Advocate using objective standards
- Note emotional triggers (status, affiliation, fairness, blame etc)
- Practice: It's a skill that can be learned
I asked my friend (who works in sales) what he thought about the list.
A negotiation story
As told by William Ury:
(author of Getting to Yes)
"One of my favorite negotiation stories is about a man who leaves his herd of 17 camels to his three sons as their inheritance. To the first son, he leaves half the camels; to the middle son, he leaves a third of the camels; and to the youngest son, he leaves a ninth of the camels.
The three sons get into an intense negotiation over who should get how many, because 17 doesn’t divide by two, or by three, or by nine.
Tempers become strained, so in desperation they consult a wise old woman. She listens to their problem and says, 'well, I don’t know if I can help you, but if you want, at least you can have my camel.'
Now they have 18 camels, so the first son takes half of them, or nine camels; the middle son takes his third, or six camels; and the youngest son takes his ninth, or two camels.
Nine plus six plus two adds up to a total of 17 camels. There is one camel left over, so the brothers give it back to the woman."
Update: Part II is out!
What are your negotiation insights?
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This may be distantly-related 🐈