Many people fear negotiations, while others get into heated arguments. Sadly, neither achieves the outcome one anticipates. The worst outcome is never to accomplish set goals and harming relationships.
For these reasons, it is vital to reexamine our behaviors and approaches when differing perspectives arise and reflect on whether our actions help us to conclude negotiations successfully.
My differentiator in corporate sales was to use a polite and inquisitive tone for deeper discussions and to bring negotiations to a successful conclusion. I continue with the same approach for entrepreneurial endeavors.
One factor contributing heavily to successful sales is our body language. First, our tone of voice encourages or discourages attempts to find an agreeable solution. Personal encounters are the trickiest, as the goal is to maintain the friendship.
On another level, phone calls spewing anger resolve little. Recently, the person calling me ranted and trashed my seeming tactics. His yelling drowned out my attempts to calm him down to explain my perspective, and then I heard a slamming of the phone.
At issue was that I documented all facts concerning an older gentleman’s health issues and his need for better planning. The written word cannot be revised or manipulated in future conversations; it’s akin to being written in stone. According to the person yelling, I should have met face-to-face with the man in question.
The concern is he is putting others at risk by mandating they lift him off the ground after falling. They are at risk due to their unique previous surgeries. Professional care is now a necessity. My concern is for the man’s family members to understand his dire situation and make the right plans concerning his well-being.
Sales Perspective: Work for the Greater Good
Putting facts to paper was better for the person in question as he won’t listen, particularly to a female. Once family members see the specifics, altering or omitting them will be non-negotiable. Moreover, citing potential harm to several others and himself is inarguable.
Ten minutes later, the person previously ranting called to apologize, but still needing to ‘win’ the argument, stated that no one in our immediate group would agree with what I wrote and may further increase tension among us. I responded, “Perhaps you still do not agree, but behind the scenes, the others told me they agreed with the facts on paper and that I have incredible courage to state them openly.”
‘Speak up for yourself, or no one else will.’ Expanding upon it, ‘help others speak up in dire situations when they fear doing so.’
One person putting himself in jeopardy due to his unique health issues applauded my action, as did the others in our group.
When someone attempts to play the ‘guilt strategy,’ it’s time to speak up for oneself and others involved. It is how you retain a good reputation and model leadership for those following in our footsteps.
Work for the Greater Good: Personal and Business
Not every conversation will be pleasant, but the ones giving discomfort are typically necessary. Letting the other person begin the conversation to share their perspective is best. Like sales, ask questions about anything you do not understand and clarify your statements they do not fully comprehend.
Upon hearing a question that may surprise you, inquire why the person is asking to provide a better answer. If you disagree, offer suggestions to find a solution agreeable to all. Sometimes, we must explain ourselves, including our beliefs and goals. Whether a sale or a personal disagreement, the outcome intent is to reach an acceptable agreement and move forward together.
The disturbance generally subsides upon people realizing that you seek an outcome beneficial for all. Only then will agreement occur. Clients and personal connections realizing that you are looking to work toward the greater good typically relent and will agree to move forward with you.
In Conclusion: Bring Negotiations to Successful Conclusions
Working on behalf of everyone involved in actions and strategies will likely lead to a better outcome. Stand up for what is right, and never let anyone put you off course because they feel uncomfortable. Often, a calm explanation and a time-lapse will help others who were initially not in agreement realize the significance of your point of view.