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When You Negotiate, How Do You 'Give Up' Information?

» Introduction
When you negotiate, the questions you ask, and the manner in which you do so will determine the information you receive; that combined with the information you give, when responding to questions, will have a great bearing on the outcome of the negotiations. When negotiating, it behooves you to choose words carefully when you ask questions and to reply cautiously when you respond to questions.
» Step 1
When you negotiate, the questions you ask, and the manner in which you do so will determine the information you receive. That combined with the information you give, when responding to questions, will have a great bearing on the outcome of the negotiations. When negotiating, it behooves you to choose words carefully when you ask questions and to reply cautiously when you respond to questions.

When negotiating, do you find yourself doing any of the following ...

1. While at the negotiation table you're asked questions and you ramble on and on with your responses

* By doing so, more than likely, you're giving away too much information.

2. You ask questions that aren't relevant to the negotiation at hand

* You may have nervous energy, or be sending a signal that you're 'flighty'. In so doing, you run the risk of not being taken seriously.

3. Words come from your mouth and you have no idea how they got there, nor who is speaking them

* Your sense of focus could be somewhere else. Call a 'time out'. Take a break to get yourself under control.

4. You find yourself giving information too quickly

* In some cases, it's better to ponder a question before responding to it. By doing so, you'll give the appearance of giving more thought to the question, and lending more importance to it.

5. You ask questions that will muddle or completely take the negotiation off track

* A savvy negotiator could deduce your lack of preparation for the negotiation. She might seek that as an entry point to continuously befuddle you throughout the negotiation, thus manipulating you more towards her goal and away from your own.

The thoughts above should always be contemplated when negotiating. Never give an abundance of information during the negotiation, because that information could be used against you. In addition, you should try to place yourself in a position where you're asking more questions than you're asked. (Note: Don't ask questions just to keep a count going. Ask questions that will lead towards your goal; strive for quality, more so than quantity.)

Consider the following thoughts when responding to questions ...

1. Why is this information needed by the other person?

2. What might they do with the information?

3. How might my response to the question harm or enhance my negotiating position?

4. Are there any benefits in responding to the question?

5. Can I use the information I'm giving as a chit in the negotiation?

Some people, when negotiating, feel as though they have to have an answer ready to every question that's posed to them. They fear being perceived as less than sufficiently prepared for the negotiation if they can't answer a question.

Always remember, just because you're asked a question doesn't mean you have to answer it. If you're ever in a position where you have to answer a question and you don't have a suitable response, take a 'time out'. Don't answer a question simply because you feel obligated to do so. Remember, silence can be golden. Sometimes, by being outrageously quiet when asked a question, you speak volumes ... and everything will be right with the world.

The negotiation lessons are ...

* Always be aware of the fact that, the amount of information you give when responding to a question can help or harm your negotiation position.

* Always state your response to a question in a manner that will lead towards the goal you seek.

* Determine what information you'll need before entering into the negotiation and the route best taken to obtain that information.


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