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Negotiating a Deal

As a manager, do you know what it takes to negotiate a successful deal? Can you build an honest and direct relationship with the other party? Anne Warfield, President of Impression Management Professional, a Minnesota-based consulting firm, shares her negotiating expertise:

First, you must have a game plan or strategy. If you go into a negotiation session without one, you have no idea where to be flexible, when to give, or how to state your point.

What is the personality style of the other people and how does that affect how you negotiate? According to Warfield, not everyone negotiates from the same point of view. People have different stakes in a negotiation. Determine what issues concern the other party the most. Also, know what your style is like so you can best prepare to negotiate a win-win situation.

The following are the four major personality styles, and how to recognize these types:

1. Connecters: This type is down to earth, friendly and very people oriented; you can spot them because they usually have very open body language and are congenial. Connecters often have a tough time with conflict and tend to crumble or to become very brittle. Connecters hate to feel used or unimportant in the negotiation meeting. If you cut the other party off, or if you become snide or pushy, you will lose in these negotiations, says Warfield. This type wants to connect with you on a personal level. The more comfortable you make connecters feel, the more flexible they will become.

When dealing with this type, be open, honest, and start with some small talk. Get to know these people–don’t try to rush immediately into the negotiation. Be direct when the other party is not meeting your needs, but never accusatory.

2. Networkers: This type will spend 70 percent of the negotiation doing small talk and will often jump around in their conversation with you. This personality type will negotiate from their gut; it will be based on how they feel about you. The more they like and trust you, the more flexible they will be. If you get into too many details or try to pin networkers down on small points, they will cease negotiating. Remember, they want to see the big picture-so hit on your key points first, and then bundle your small points together.

When you ask networkers to make a tough decision, point out why it is better that they make these difficult choices now rather than wait. Hit on the recognition of why they should want to close this deal with you.

3. Producers: This type will stride into a room and offer a strong handshake. These people tend to shoot straight and not mince words. They want you to give them the big picture, and will ask you rapid-fire questions to get the answers they seek. Producers look for the best possible deal and pride themselves on their ability to get what they want. They enjoy the game of negotiating, and can thrive in any negotiation situation.

Producers will usually not take the first package offered. If you suggest your best deal first–and refuse to budge–it is like taking candy from a baby. These people love the thrill of the negotiation, and you will disappoint them if you cannot present a compromise.

4. Analyzers: This type may tend to talk slower over the phone and may remain more non-emotional during a negotiation. Broad general sweeping statements annoy these types. The best way to handle analyzers? Give them the facts. If you provide them with material to prove your point, they will read all of your information. They are not likely to finalize a negotiation on the spot, and will most likely mull a deal over and give you an answer later.

Analyzers require space in order to make a decision, and accuracy is most important to them. It matters if you need 50 sleeping rooms or 52–they want you to give them all the facts and figures.

The bottom line: Add value to the other party you are negotiating with, Warfield concludes. It is imperative to be able to read their personality style and speak from their perspective. If you ignore their hot buttons, you are missing the art of negotiation: the ability to think creatively with other people to arrive at the best solution. Phrase everything you say in alignment with the other party’s hot buttons, not yours.

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