Business Negotiation March 12, 2015

Moving Toward Settlement From the Start

Your first offer is an important one. It should be made in a firm but courteous way. Much can be learned by observing how your opening position is received. The other person’s body language may provide more insight than their words.

The other side’s subsequent offers and concessions also tell a story. Most would interpret concessions made too quickly as a sign of weakness. A rate of concession-making that moves in the direction of ever-smaller increments transmits a message that further compromise will be limited or unavailable later. Whether these signs are real or only imagined depends on what is learned through further negotiation.

Surprises in the form of unexpected issues or negative information learned at the table are always hard to handle. When a surprise comes up, it’s wise to find a reason to call a caucus or time-out as they do in basketball or football when things on the field go wrong.

When a question you are unprepared for is asked by the other, it is better to say that you are not ready to answer than it is to bluff your way through and be sorry later. Hardly a month goes by without some televised politician attempting to bluff a response to a difficult question and then spending the next month trying in vain to correct what was said in haste.

All good negotiators have an abundance of perseverance. When their great idea or well-analyzed viewpoint is rejected they do not falter or lose self-esteem. The perseverance rule is simple—when your proposal is rejected or laughed at, shape it in another way and return it to the table. Zhou Enlai, a famous Chinese diplomat under Chairman Mao once said, “If the other side resists my offer of a pizza cut in six pieces, I offer it later cut in eight.”

As a recent Harvard Business Review article reported, perseverance may pay dividends in dealing with your boss. Jack Welsh described a technique that he used when Chairman of General Electric to test a subordinate’s faith in the ideas that they proposed. He would reject their ideas a number of times to see if they would return with the idea after rejection.

After several re-submittals Mr. Welsh found that those who returned to him had greater faith in their proposals. They thought enough of their ideas to take on the boss. Like most decisions in business, when and whether to do this with your boss is a judgment call you’ll have to make for yourself.

Perseverance works in negotiation. Its powerful partner is “Acceptance Time.” Together they can help convince the other party that you are committed to your position in a thoughtful, disciplined way.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
Contact US
[email protected][email protected]+1 323 866-3800
SEMINARS
About Us
AboutDR. CHESTER KARRASSGARY KARRASSFAQGLOSSARYPRIVACY POLICYBLOG
QUICK LINKS