Negotiating Right May Not Mean Right Now
When you negotiate, do you negotiate at the right time? When you can’t capture and hold the attention of those with whom you are to negotiate, don’t negotiate. It’s been said that timing is everything in life. When it comes to negotiating, timing is one of the most influential factors affecting the outcome of the negotiation.
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Too many times, people try to negotiate when the timing is not right. They try to negotiate when the other negotiator does not want or need what is being offered, or worse, they do so because they want to negotiate. Some negotiators feel as long as there’s a ‘warm body’ that they can voice their opinion to, or someone that they can sway their thoughts upon, it’s OK to negotiate. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all negotiations, you have to consider the timing of the negotiation.
If the ‘right person’ is not available, at the right time, who happens to be the person that has the authority, the will, and the desire, to give you what you seek from a negotiation, you should not enter into the negotiations. If you enter into negotiations under such circumstances, you run the risk of disclosing the level of knowledge you possess about negotiation tactics and strategies. In so doing, you give insight into how you most likely will react under time constraints, yours and the other negotiator. If you use similar tactics and strategies in all of your negotiations, you will have allowed a glimpse into your negotiation demeanor, when time is a factor, by the person with whom you might negotiate with in the future. In so doing, you’ll place yourself at a disadvantage.
You can get insight into the proper time to schedule a negotiation during the ‘data gathering’ stage of the negotiation planning process. Basically, when it comes to the timing of a negotiation, in the planning process you want to …
1. Find out if there are any time constraints on the person with whom you’ll be negotiating
2. Determine if the other negotiator is ready to negotiate and why the time is right from her perspective
3. Get insight into how time constraints might influence the person with whom your negotiating
4. Uncover potential sources that the other negotiator might turn to if she can’t negotiate with you in a timely manner
5. Understand the source of the time constraints and to what degree they are prominent
6. Assess the potential outcome that time constraints might have on the overall outcome of the negotiation and determine how your negotiation position might benefit
7. Disguise your time constraints - Try not to let the other negotiator uncover them
You should never fear to negotiate, but make sure the timing is right. You can increase your negotiation skills in any environment by practicing the art of timing the negotiation properly. Just be careful not to practice in arenas that you’ll be playing in ‘for real’. Before entering into any negotiations, you should practice what you’ll do, based on what your negotiation partner does, in the time that’s been allocated for the negotiation. Just be sure you practice any negotiation in an area where the other negotiator will not get insight into what your negotiation plans might be.
If you use time as an ally when planning your negotiation session, you can gain additional leverage throughout the negotiation … and everything will be right with the world.
The Negotiation Lessons are …
· When negotiating, you should not only be sure you’re negotiating with the ‘right’ person, but you should also try to negotiate at the right time. By negotiating at the right time, you place yourself in an advantageous position.
· Don’t be whimsical when considering the timing of a negotiation. Always be very dogmatic about the planning stage of the negotiation and take into consideration the timing in which the negotiation will occur.
· When negotiating do so on your own time schedule. If you calculate the value time plays in a negotiation during the planning process, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate and as such should have an easier time at the negotiation table.