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To Negotiate Successfully Let Persistence Break Resistance

» Introduction
When you negotiate, you can advance your point of the negotiation, if you’re persistent. When people negotiate, they expect, or should expect to hear ‘no’. The question becomes, do you know how to be persistent without being overbearing, to advance your point when negotiating?
» Step 1
Persistence plays a role in any negotiation. The balancing act occurs when persistence is weighed against annoyance.

In order to be a good, or better than good negotiator, you have to know how to strike the balance between persistence and annoyance. In essence you have to uncover how to break resistance by being persistent. There are several ways to achieve this. You should …

1. Become more adept at reading and interpreting body language

(a) In order to really get insight into what someone is thinking, you need to have the advantage of being able to read their body language.

(b) By being able to accurately read and interpret body language, you’ll know through the sensation of your senses when someone’s words and actions are not aligned. In observing a difference between someone’s words and actions, you’ll be alerted to the fact that they are having internal differences. At that point, it would behoove you to seek which, the body language or words, possess the true emotional state of the other negotiator.

(c) Once you uncover the inner thoughts of your negotiation opponent, you’ll have insight into the degree of persistence you can use to achieve your point and not do so past the point of alienation.


2. Learn how to be forceful without being perceived as attacking

(a) You can convey a forceful appearance by the way you project your mannerisms. Leaning forward, maintaining eye contact longer than what has been ‘normal’ throughout the negotiation, can have the perceived appearance of being more committed to one negotiation point, versus another.

(b) The act of conveying your intentions is a matter of timing. You must ‘set the stage’ by either slowly working into a perceived forceful state of mind, or moving quickly to such a position as the result of being, or perceiving to be, upset about a recent point.

(c) In the end, the level of success you experience with this tactic is determined by how well you ‘act out’ the role you’re playing. By making sure your body language matches the verbiage you project, you will be more believable. It will become easier to navigate the other negotiator into a position of rethinking his position.


3. Be aware of negotiation points that burn brightly and fizzle quickly

(a) One of the oldest tricks that negotiators have used since the beginning of time is to create the mental equivalence of shinny objects, a diversion that directs the ‘real’ intentions of the negotiation from one point to another. Some negotiators create such objects in the form of red herrings.

(b) When negotiating, red herrings are basically points that negotiators concede to that have little if any real value to the negotiator making the concession. The conceding negotiator gives the impression that there’s value in the point to which he’s conceded to bestow gratitude in the negotiator receiving the point; the purpose of this act is to have the ‘favor’ returned on a point that is more meaningful to the originating negotiator.

(c) If you find yourself in a position of being close to deadlocked on a point or position from which there are few pleasing outcomes, persist with your need to win the position to the point of utilizing a red herring to enrich your proposition. If you can align your enhanced offer, which includes the red herring, you will give the perception of having moved the negotiation forward. In reality the ‘cost’ will be minimal to do so as the result of what you’ll receive in return.


When negotiating, persistence can break resistance. In order to do so, you have to become a savvy negotiator. You need to know when to use such a tactic and when to back away from it. In order to discern the appropriate time to do so, hone the strategy of knowing to what degree you should be persistent. You can enhance this strategy by practicing the fine art of annoying a close associate (It would be advisable to get the associate’s buy-in before arbitrarily pouncing on him with this strategy.)

Let the associate know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Suggest to him that he react in the manner that he would normally act if you weren’t practicing. Interpret his mannerisms and read his body language to gauge how close he is to becoming upset. Then, call a time out. Assess your interpretation of his mannerisms for accuracy. Even though you’re just practicing, you’ll gain valuable insight into how to accurately interpret the actions of others in the future … and everything will be right with the world.


The Negotiation Lessons are …

· When you negotiate always remember to balance persistence against annoyance. You’ll get clues into how close you are to annoying the other negotiator by observing his body language. If you’re adept at accurately interpreting the body language of your negotiation opponent, you’ll be able to use persistence right up to the point that you veer to another course of action in order to prevent the negotiation from becoming more embroiled.

· Unless you’re going for a negotiation knock out, don’t get caught trading jabs with the other negotiator. Without a set negotiation plan, such actions can be draining. Understand from a strategical perspective why you’re being persistent about one point in the negotiation and what you plan to achieve. Make sure you’ve ‘set the stage’ by being able to back away from your point, and if you have to, be prepared to back away while offering a red herring. As you retreat, you’ll enhance the viability of your position with the addition of the red herring.

· I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. When it comes to body language, you can mold your demeanor into a picture that speaks voluminously. Cast the right body language position at the appropriate time and your level of persistence will be conveyed without you uttering a word.

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