Know Your Opponent's Position to Negotiate Successfully

Learn how to understand the position of both parties in a negotiation.

Stever Robbins
3-minute read
Episode #51

What are they seeing when you walk in the room? Is what they're seeing attractive? And we're talking more than just visually. We've all had someone walk into a meeting and spend an hour demonstrating how friggin' smart they are. They hear brilliance pouring forth from their lips. The rest of us just hear a stream. A babbling stream. In fact, drop the stream. We just hear babbling. Make sure your first impression is positive.

Know Their Motivation

And if you're going to ask for something, take the time to find out what motivates that person. Then make your offer tap into their motivation. Let's say you want Donald Trump to give you his hairpiece (Yes, I know, it's his real hair. Sure it is). Don't demand it; think. What could possibly motivate a man who erects tall, skyscrapers that thrust above Manhattan with his name circling the tip? You might say, "Gee, Donald, did you know that bald men are so much more virile, manly, and attractive to women? For a modest fee, I'll be happy to hold your hairpiece while you go out and talk to that supermodel." He gets the supermodel and you get paid to hold his hair. It's win-win all around.

Use "No" to Ask for More Information

If they still say "No," don't attack. You have nothing to lose by asking them how you're falling short. Donald says, "No, I won't give up my hairpiece." Say, "OK. Is there anything that could convince you?" Maybe he'll say, "Well, actually, I've always wanted a fire truck." Maybe you have a fire truck. If so, you can reopen negotiations by saying, "Actually, Don, I have a fire truck..."


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.