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Thought for the day

The full archive of free daily management tips from our team of trainers.

‘Take control!’

In a negotiation, if one person is asking questions, and the other is answering, it is quite obvious who is directing the negotiation and who is merely responding and being led in a particular direction. The person who is controlling the negotiation is the one who is thinking:
  • What areas do I want this meeting to cover?
  • Do I have enough information on this topic?
  • Do I want to change the subject?
  • What weaknesses does he have which I want him to talk about?
He is then translating these points into questions for the opponent such as:
  • Why are your labour costs so high?
  • How is it made?
  • Will you explain your tooling charge? I don’t understand it.
  • What stocks do you hold?
Research by Neil Rackham suggests that the most successful negotiators ask twice as many questions as average negotiators. In analysis of negotiations, he found that 20 per cent of all behaviours used by successful negotiators in negotiation were questions. When watching a negotiation, you can easily work out who is in control simply by counting the number of questions being asked by each side.

Start asking!

© The author

This thought has been taken from Eric’s book ‘Mastering Negotiations’. A master negotiator himself, he is our expert trainer on the subject – click here for details of one of his most popular courses.

Previous Thoughts for the day

Red Arrow‘Encourage your customers to be unreasonable’
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Red Arrow‘Give your customers the benefit of the doubt’
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Red Arrow‘Encourage your customers to complain’
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Red Arrow‘Being good enough, isn’t good enough – give customers a reason to be faithful’
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Red Arrow‘How to keep a customer for life – give them lots of reasons to stay’
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Red Arrow‘Close the customer service department’
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Red Arrow‘Customer satisfaction is everybody’s job’
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Red Arrow‘Customer satisfaction is not satisfactory’
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Red Arrow‘The answer is – yes!’
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Red Arrow‘What are others doing?’
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Red Arrow‘How can I take better care of my customers?’
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Red Arrow‘Every sales call is a free market research opportunity’
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Red Arrow‘The customer isn’t always right’
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Red Arrow‘Give your customers more than they pay for’
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Red Arrow‘Wash your dirty laundry in private’
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Red Arrow‘It’s OK to spend money’
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Red Arrow‘Expect the unexpected’
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Red Arrow‘Have a NIZ!’
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Red Arrow‘Dump trivia’
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Red Arrow‘Less is more’
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Red Arrow‘Speed up routine tasks’
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Red Arrow‘Stop doing other people’s work’
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Red Arrow‘Ask questions’
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Red Arrow‘Take control!’
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Red Arrow‘Listen!’
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Red Arrow‘You don’t have to answer the question’
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Red Arrow‘Shut up!’
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Red Arrow‘Be receptive’
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Red Arrow‘Go to the balcony’
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Red Arrow‘Think before you speak’
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Red Arrow‘You can’t stare – but you must watch!’
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Red Arrow‘Don’t be predictable’
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Red Arrow‘KISS’
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Red Arrow‘Aim high’
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Red Arrow‘Say “No.” ’
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