While lunch with a friend recently, she was telling me that she felt she could not be authentic in some negotiations because the other party was “bound” by the rules and the parameters set by their organization. I am not so sure that is true. I know it should not be true.
I won’t deny that organizations have set up rules, parameters and goals for our various negotiations. But I also know that when we come to the negotiation with the idea that everyone walks away happy and a winner; that, in fact happens. Win/Win is more than just two words. And just because you say you are a win/win negotiator does not mean you are. Just like saying you are a “trusted advisor” doesn’t make you one. In fact I would suggest that if you use the word trusted advisor in your description…you may be like the guy that says, “To tell the truth…”Does that mean there are times they don’t tell the truth? I would suggest that only your clients can name you “Trusted Advisor”.
This brings to mind a negotiation with a friend many years ago. He was a client when we were both at other firms. And Marty called me to see if I could help with his current situation. He was in another representative’s territory so she was the one to negotiate the deal. And our two organizations started rubbing each other the wrong way. Finally, I was asked if I might help.
So I called Marty and, listened. I let him tell me about how he did not feel heard, how the firm was not meeting his needs and frankly I was letting him vent. We then got to the things he really needed. I then went back to my team and …listened. I then went through and looked for the areas of conflict and there were, if I recall correctly, just two. One was around payment terms and one was around indemnification.
We were able to come back to the table and clear away all of the other points that we had added to our lists quickly and we came down to the two areas of conflict and how we really thought both sides would win if this deal could be reached and then we both compromised. We compromised on the terms and they compromised on indemnification.
Both firms had their rules.
Both firms needed something.
Both firms could benefit from the relationship.
When we were able to get our Ego’s out of the way and get down to our real intentions we were able to reach what turned out to be a long and rewarding relationship.
Are there places where you and your team or client are stuck? Where you are getting hung up on the “position” of the company or your own position? Would you benefit from getting out of your own way?