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Six key vulnerabilities in negotiation

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Although we negotiate all our lives, not many people understand the art of negotiation. James Delrojo summarizes this topic well, so here is his take.

Negotiation is a mental and emotional game. Much of the result is dependent on the emotional strengths and vulnerabilities of the parties and, of course, their skills at capitalizing on these strengths and vulnerabilities.

I will discuss six key vulnerabilities to be aware of in negotiation.

• Vulnerability Number 1: Fear

There is an old Chinese proverb that says that more sick people are killed by their own fear than are killed by the disease. If a skilled negotiator smells fear in his opponent, then he will quickly introduce tactics to capitalize on that fear.

There are all sorts of fears that weaken your position; fear of missing out, fear of messing up, fear of looking stupid and fear of being out negotiated are some of the more common fears that make you vulnerable to the skills of an experienced negotiator.

• Vulnerability Number 2: Greed

Nothing leads to rash decisions faster than greed. Greed allows you to be manipulated, and it is the greatest ally of conmen. Most people have some degree of greed and it is important to be aware of this in yourself and manage it, and also be aware of it in your opponent and capitalize on it.

Any time that you are negotiating any form of investment, be particularly aware of the influence of greed.

• Vulnerability Number 3: Ignorance

If you don’t know what you are doing, then it is hard to do a good job. There are two areas where ignorance can create weakness in negotiation.

The first is lack of knowledge of negotiation techniques and strategies. The second is in poor pre-negotiation research.

• Vulnerability Number 4: Time limits

I like to think of negotiators as either the sellers or buyers. Buyers are the people who need solutions and sellers are the people who are providing the solutions.

If a buyer has a strict and impending deadline and they are having trouble finding solutions, then they are vulnerable to a seller with an appropriate solution.

On the other hand, if a seller has a time sensitive solution and the buyer has lots of options, then the closer the deadline comes, the greater the vulnerability of the seller.

•  Vulnerability Number 5: Strong need

If your need to make the deal is stronger than the other party’s need to make the deal, then you are in a vulnerable position, as soon as the other party becomes aware of this situation.

For this reason skilled negotiators develop the ability to disguise their true level of need.

• Vulnerability Number 6: Ego

The moment that you start operating on ego, then you have opened yourself to all manner of manipulation by a skilled negotiator.

A good salesman of luxury items uses his client’s ego to help him inflate the price and sell things that the buyer neither needs nor wants. Ego is too expensive to take to the negotiation table with you. Leave it outside.

Vulnerability in negotiation is something to protect yourself against and also something to capitalize on if it is the other party who is vulnerable. Look for the signs of vulnerability and become skilled at all the techniques that allow you to protect yourself from it and also to capitalize on it.

l Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to info@workplacesuccess.com

Visit online at www.workplacesuccess.com

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