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What is NegoLogic?
The greatest wish of every negotiator is knowing the bottom line of the other party, what are they willing to settle for. Not surprisingly, your counterpart attempts to hide this and other weaknesses from you. How successful they are depends on your skills to uncover such secrets. Our own hopes, fears and expectations often mislead us. Take the unbreakable link between outcome and satisfaction. You will be satisfied when you get what you want.
This is a complete illusion. Sure enough, everyone wants to reach a certain result before the start. But the interaction between the two parties soon overrules this aim.
Say you want to sell for 15k and start out with asking me for 18k, including a buffer of three grand. Two different reactions.
- I immediately shake your hand while crying tears of happiness. Soon you'll be crying too, wishing that you had started even higher.
- We negotiate hard-ball and you had to settle for 14.500. The interaction was right, so you feel pretty good about the deal.
The point is that the best result failed to satisfy you, but the worse did. And the link between outcome and satisfaction has been broken.
This was a prime example of how easy it can be for another person to control thoughts into a positive OR negative direction. It also supports the basic principle of Neuroeconomics, the interaction outweighs the result.
NegoLogic introduces: “Story2tell”. The order within the decision making process is that the explanation often leads the decision, instead of the other way around. When a decision can go either way the deciding factor is how other people will react when they hear about it.
And their response is pretty reliable.
Example one: You blew it! Perhaps in a polite way, but you'll know just the same. Two: Pretty good deal. You did not get exactly want you wanted but close enough...
Any outcome that makes you look like a loser, you are unlikely to accept.
Once you realize that negotiating is a balancing act there are multiple ways to take advantage. Another common misunderstanding is to show no weakness in your position, no matter what.
Let's try the NegoLogical approach instead. We all know that everything has pros and cons. There is no night without day, no poor without rich, and every coin has two sides. By leaving out an obvious weakness you are setting yourself up for disaster. Because it is only a matter of time before they use it against you.
You cannot lose what you never had
What happens if you mention your own obvious weakness first? It sounds crazy but this happens to be a trust-building exercise of unparalleled strength. You took the wind out of their sails. But what's more, now you earn the right to be believed when taking advantages elsewhere.
Building bridges at zero cost, because you cannot lose what you never had.
Compare that with the old school method of pushing one-sided issues, no matter how valid. Argumentation often leads to a game of YES NO ping-pong that neither wins. Worse, at one time so much subliminal resistance is created that others will balance AGAINST your words. Into the other direction. In psychology this effect is named polarity response, a very reliable pattern of human behavior. There is much more to these techniques in NegoLogic, but you get the general idea.
Making it easy for others to deal with us. The more important the outcome, the more willing we are to accommodate in timing and effort.
The Bottleneck principle in NegoLogic: close the window of opportunity!
If we could do everything all the time, why would anyone act right now? When leaving your opponent every chance to decide you are also removing the urge for him to do so.
You will come over as willing and available. These signals can be picked up as dangerous signs of weakness and, more often than not, they are!
7/11 stores are always open for when you are hungry or thirsty, so that’s your impulse right there – convenience.
Negotiating means you must make use of every advantage there is and create some more. Giving our opponent a limited chance to deal is a strong weapon, all too often neglected. Reading others: the more willing to invest time and effort pre-negotiation, the more eager they are to deal with you.
When you ask for more or want to pay less it is painfully clear that you benefit if this happens. The persons in front of you will view everything in that light. They don’t want to lose in order to make you gain. That makes perfect sense.
Unless, of course, you can show that you are not gaining at all. When you can prove that there are direct expenses connected so the money goes elsewhere, instead of in your pockets. Accomplish this, and you cut their resistance in half.
Why Negotiating is a Skill You Need
NegoLogic establishes us as extremely reliable, painfully honest dealmakers. We acknowledge both sides of the coin and do not shy away from mentioning negative elements, even though these may seem to “hurt” our position. Facing such a negotiator is a surprising event that often outweighs the end result. That is why there is so much to be gained by staying up-to-date with these new developments.
Some NegoLogical Facts
- Satisfaction can be triggered by aspects other than the result
- You can never change anyone’s mind by an abundance of arguments
- Failing to acknowledge obvious strengths in the others position disqualifies you as a fair judge of its value
- The market reacts to exposure, sentiment and excitement
- We ponder over decisions but fail to question our impulses
- Prices and proposals are not accepted on merit, but on presentation
- Balanced negotiations are a combination of dancing, chess, and poker
NegoLogic is a book by Peter Frensdorf a negotiation practitioner with 35 years experience. NegoLogic.