Business Negotiation June 22, 2015

The Considered Response

Negotiation involves work. People rarely bargain for the fun of it or because they have nothing better to do. They negotiate to gain satisfaction. What we will now consider are ways to increase the value of our responses to whatever the other party offers or concedes. Whether we say “Yes” or “No” to their offer it is important we do it right; that is, we must enhance their satisfaction and maintain a good relationship.

Concessions are normally made by both sides to bring parties together. The person making the concession hopes to narrow or bridge the gap that separates them. How one handles the other side’s offer can either set the stage for further improvement or serve to harden the disagreement.

A time-tested approach to adding value and credibility to your responses and counteroffers will be suggested. I call it “The Considered Response.” One of the best negotiators I ever encountered employed the “considered response” whenever he negotiated. It worked this way. Whenever the other side made a demand or concession his first reaction was to listen carefully and take notes. Then, when they were through, he would say nothing but make calculations on a sheet of paper. After what appeared to everyone to be a longer period of time than it was he would say, “I can’t afford to accept your offer. It’s simply not enough.” His way of responding indicated to the other that he had seriously weighed their arguments and position, even though he had not agreed.

Frankly, I can’t be sure that he really figured anything out on that sheet of paper. For all I know he might have been doodling. But I do know that his “considered response” gave his answer credibility and respect. It became, when negative, a stronger “No.” And when he said “yes” as he often did, the other person perceived it as a more satisfying “Yes.”

The “considered response” is a powerful tool. By disciplining yourself not to shoot snap answers “from the hip,” your strength as a negotiator will increase. The rule is this: The next time the other side makes a demand or offer, be it acceptable or not, don’t respond to it with a “Yes” or “No” right away. Keep quiet and think about it for a while. Better yet, write down on a paper a few “pros and cons” and some calculations. Then answer “Yes” or “No” or whatever is appropriate. Your considered response will give greater weight to your answer and greater satisfaction to the other person as well. Few negotiating behaviors provide much time-to-think, negotiating space, response credibility and appreciation for the other’s offer or concession as a considered response. Make it part of your response pattern.

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
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