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Use Time Constraints Cautiously to Negotiate Successfully

» Introduction
When you negotiate, to what degree do you allow time to influence you? Do you even give consideration to the constraints time has in and during a negotiation? All of us have the exact same amount of time. Some of us become more successful than others based on what we do with our time. The same holds true when negotiating.
» Step 1
When you negotiate, to what degree do you allow time to influence you? Do you even give consideration to the constraints time has in and during a negotiation? All of us have the exact same amount of time. Some of us become more successful than others based on what we do with our time. The same holds true when negotiating.

When you plan a negotiation session(s), give careful consideration to the implication of time. Be astutely aware of how time will bound your session.

One of the key ingredients to negotiating successfully is to gain awareness of the time constraints placed on the other party. To the degree you have information about their time constraints, you have a powerful tool in your arsenal of strategies and tactics you can employ. If you know they are under a very tight time constraint and you’re the only source from which they can get what they need, you’re position becomes even more powerful (note: if at all possible, try never to place yourself in a position of only having one source from which to obtain what you seek).

As you negotiate, use the strategy of time constraint wisely. By that I mean, if you give the other person a deadline by which to address a situation, first, tie some form of penalty to that deadline. Then, if he does not meet the request tied to the deadline, be ready to apply the penalties.

If you allow a deadline to expire without applying penalties, or exacting some toll for its expiration, you will weaken your negotiation position, if you try to use time in the same fashion as before. In addition, your overall negotiation position will be weakened, because things you say after that point will be brought into question, as far as your ability to follow through.

When it comes to using time as a constraint, a tool, or a strategy, always consider the implication of it not being adhered to. Use time wisely and you’ll come out ahead every time … and everything will be right with the world.


The negotiation lessons are …

· Always understand the value of time when negotiating. The greater your knowledge about the other person’s time, the greater your negotiation position.

· Apply time constraints only when you’re prepared to back them up with some form of penalty. If you fail to apply a penalty to a time constraint, you reduce the effectiveness of the constraint.

· Remember, time as a strategy is a double edged sword. You can enhance your negotiation position by using it at the appropriate time, but without some form of enforcement, your position will be weakened and you run the risk of not being able to strengthen your position past that point should you try to use time again in that manner.

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