Imagine having to reach a destination when you know of only one route and that one is blocked! This is the situation that Arun – a Senior sales leader with a large MNC firm - was dealing with, as he spent many rounds negotiating with his client for recovering what he considers to be genuine costs incurred during a project. Arun had valid reasons for why the invoice needed to be paid but the client was not able to approve it. More arguments to persuade the client not only had no impact on the negotiations but also raised the overall temperature in the room!
What are the options for Arun? For starters, it will be valuable to have an alternative strategy in his back pocket, should the main strategy fail. For instance, are there other ways to recover this cost (e.g. other services)? Why would the client not pay? Is it because she is not convinced or is there some internal challenges that prevent her from approving this cost? Is there an opportunity to repackage the proposal?
As a best practice, it is handy to have at least one alternative strategy for our negotiations (the more the merrier of course). However, this comes from finding time to prepare & collaborating with the internal teams ahead of the meeting. Also, as the conversation progresses, through careful listening to the client’s issues, negotiators often get vital signals for what that alternative strategy could be.
The crux is that there is no one-size strategy that fits all situations. But proper negotiation skills training can sharpen your ability to tune to the particular scenario & the client in question, thereby rolling out a successful negotiation strategy. Through appropriate training, once you get a hang of how to better deal with deadlocks during a negotiation, you will not just know how to ease out the whole process but also experience better conflict management. Hence, the bottom line is that it’s all about the right training!
You might want to read:The Power of Adjournments