By Greg Williams
There’s one secret trick that good negotiators use that allows them to obtain more from every negotiation they’re in. Do you know what it is?
Good negotiators ask for more than they expect to receive. But wait, there’s more! It’s not just that they ask for more, it’s the way they ask, and the timing that allows them to get more.
Characteristics of Questioner:
The way you make a request should be in part, based on the character of the person you’re asking. Some people are brisk (i.e. get to the point), others are more sociable (i.e. let’s take our time). Thus, it would not behoove you to pose the same type of request to the people possessing the characteristics mentioned. If you did, your request might be met by one and not the other, or neither of them, due to the way you posed the question. In either case, you’d be gambling on the outcome. Posing the right question in the manner that’s more receptive to the characteristics of the person to whom you’re asking a question enhances that outcome.
“Can you… “, “Will you… “, “I need… “, “I want… ” are forms of openings to a question that will psychologically appeal to different personality types. To maximize the probability of obtaining what you seek, mimic the verbiage used by the person you’re seeking the outcome from. If you observe that she predominantly uses, “can you help me” when requesting assistance, use that phrase on her. It will have an echoing effect on her; that means, the words will sound like something she’s heard before. That’ll be true to her because they will be the words that she uses. That will place her in a mindset to grant your request more readily.
Setup and Timing:
The one main advantage you have over the other person is the fact that you know you’re going to make a request. The timing of when you do will impact the probability of a successful outcome. To enhance that outcome, consider probing by asking questions that aren’t as direct as the one you plan to use (e.g. What do you think about… ?). Be careful not to give too much insight about your real intent. If you do, you might be weakening your efforts.
Another tactic you can utilize is to make a request that’s significantly more than what you’re seeking. Then, by comparison, the smaller request won’t appear to be as large.
Situational and Positional Power:
Along with timing, consider when you have situational or positional power. You have situational power when you’re in a situation where you’re perceived by others as being powerful (i.e. police officer with red lights flashing). Positional power stems from the position you hold at the time when you’re perceived as being in control (i.e. boss over subordinate).
During such times, you’ll be able to make requests with an enhanced probability of having them granted.
Asking for more in any negotiation will always enhance the probability that you’ll obtain more. But you must know how to properly execute your requests to enhance that probability. Using the insights above will do just that for you… and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!