Win-win negotiation techniques related to the game of time, part 2

Service Business

Determined negotiators clearly present their position. Their body language, tone of voice, and the words they use indicate that they are not people who will make easy concessions. Such interlocutors cling to their position, sometimes aggressively defending it. How to come to an agreement in such a situation, beneficial for both partners? Time-management win-win negotiation techniques can be used, which subtly help to soften the competing attitude of the other party. If you are having conversations with difficult negotiators, use the Colombo tactic, screening question, or what if.

Colombo Win-Win Negotiation Techniques (Playing a Fool)

Experienced negotiators use Colombo's win-win technique if the other side is competitive towards negotiating, or even shows an aggressive attitude. The use of this tactic allows you to deal with a disrespectful, emotional partner. On the one hand, playing a fool makes it possible to obtain additional information, and on the other hand, it contributes to the opponent's modification of demands and the adoption of less arbitrary behavior.

Example 1.

- We will only agree to sign this contract if you guarantee us a delivery date shorter than 7 days, compensation for delays caused even for reasons beyond the control of the state, coverage of delivery insurance costs and free return of unsold products. In return, we are able to agree to your terms.

"Excuse me, could you explain all this to me one more time?" I did not have time to write down the entire proposal.

- Delivery in 7 days, compensation for delays, coverage of shipping insurance costs, possibility of returning unsold products.

- For the sake of clarity, let me repeat what you expect: deliveries within 7 days of placing the order, compensation for delays caused by our fault, coverage of insurance costs and paid receipt of goods that you will not sell. That's right?

- Yes.

In the example above, the use of the Colombo technique allowed us to reduce the demands of the aggressive negotiator. Thanks to this, the other party achieved more favorable terms of agreement, without being emotionally involved in the conversation.

Such win-win negotiation techniques skillfully allows you to gain time to think. If you speak slowly enough and give the impression of a lost person, you will have the opportunity to modify your proposal and reflect on your partner's expectations. Perhaps you will also learn about the other side's motivations.

Negotiation techniques, win-win test questions

Review questions are another win-win negotiation technique related to playing against time. Negotiators use it when they want to find out if the partner's proposal is in fact final, and he is as relentless as he keeps repeating. This tactic makes it possible to examine the other side's position without confronting them. In the worst case, the use of a check-question may confirm that our opponent cannot be persuaded to change his mind. On the other hand, we can achieve a reduction in his demands.

Example 2.

- We would like the price per item not to exceed PLN 10. This is our final word.

- So the price is not negotiated on your part? Have you thought about the other terms of the contract? Maybe you want additional benefits, such as quality. We would be able to prepare a product for PLN 11, which we usually sell for PLN 13.

- We'd have to talk to the management about this.

The use of the proof-of-question question changed the attitude of the initially adamant negotiator. Perhaps a quite attractive agreement for both sides will be reached.

Win-win negotiation techniques what if

Working out different ways to reach an agreement is the essence of negotiation. It happens that the partner sees no other way of solving a given issue than agreeing to his proposal. If we, in turn, cannot agree to his demands, we can use win-win negotiation techniques, what if.

Example 3.

- You say you cannot reduce the price of a product. What if we offered you payment within 3 working days in return for a discount? A quick money transfer would increase your liquidity.

- It is an attractive proposition, but we still insist on our price.

- Then please consider whether a cash payment would change your mind. If the money was handed over to you, this would avoid some commissions.

The multiplication of successive possibilities of finding an agreement brings both parties closer to working out a favorable contract. However, be careful about using the what-if technique, as it can transform negotiations into the proverbial guesswork. Every now and then you need to make sure which arrangements are actually binding on both parties. All proposals can be recorded in the minutes of the negotiating meeting.