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Thought for the day

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‘Don’t be predictable’

Many of us are creatures of habit. We have routines and rituals that make us feel comfortable. If, as part of a long-term relationship, you have developed a particular way of negotiating with a trading partner, this will inevitably mean that they will be able to predict the way you will act and react. This will hinder your negotiating effectiveness.

A number of negotiators mistakenly believe that negotiation is an exercise in compromise. This encourages the opponent to start with an exaggerated posture so that they can achieve their objective and make the other party feel that they too have achieved a good result.

Others of us have favourite ploys or approaches to negotiation which may be effective if used occasionally, but lose their cutting edge when over-used and abused. One public sector client, when seeking to negotiate down the proposed price for a consulting project. always starts the negotiation the same way:

‘My colleagues and I are really impressed by your proposal, but there is another bid which is 10% cheaper. We would love to be able to give you the job but need to know if you can match their offer.’

Unfortunately for him, consultancy is a very incestuous business, and this man’s reputation for this particular ploy has rendered it useless.

If you use the same ploys with negotiation partners again and again, you too will lose your effectiveness.

© 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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