The Foundation of Negotiation.
Negotiation is both an art and a science. A way of communicating with others which allows the fairest exchange of value, goods and services to all parties involved; it is the basis of all free societies, and the heart of Free Market Capitalism. Negotiation allows two or more individuals to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement, without coercion or duress. Additionally, if you are a better negotiator than the other person, that is the other person’s problem.
If executed properly, negotiations are always a Win / Win proposition. One person wants the goods or services of another, so an exchange of equal perceived value is executed. If either party does not get what he or she wants, the transaction will not happen, nor should it. Coercion is the easiest form of negotiation, which is why muggers carry weapons. Guns, it has been said, are simply “leverage” for hostile negotiations.
Any exchange which is not voluntarily entered into by all parties is by its very nature a criminal act. Anything and everything an individual creates, produces or earns should be theirs to do with as he pleases. If someone is forced to give up property without commensurate compensation – having it taken from him against his will or knowledge – it is the clearest definition of thievery.
Communism, Socialism, NAZI-ism, State-ism and all other forms of Collectivist Dictatorships – hard or soft – are formed around the concept that what a person creates for himself does not belong to him; it belongs to the collective. Those kinds of political doctrines are always controlled by the self-appointed “Elite.” People who are, according to themselves, the only ones qualified to “spread the wealth” equitably, which they always seem to “spread around” at the end of a gun, under the threat of force. The appointed Elite are in charge, the masses don’t really get a choice in the matter. Which is why those kinds of ideologies always fail; the takers eventually far outnumber the makers, forcing those societies to crumble under their own weight.
Negotiation, or “entering into mutually beneficial arrangements between consenting individuals, for the exchange of equally valued items,” is rendered illegal and considered immoral by those kinds of ideologies. If governments can take from people who which they have produced without consent, while giving little to no value in return, then their citizens are nothing more than slaves – people required to labor without just or equitable compensation, nor ownership of what they produce. Slavery of any kind has never been shown to foster creative thinking or enthusiasm for a job well done, ever.
Which is why learning how to negotiate effectively, while understanding the importance of the free and unfettered ability to negotiate, is such an important concept. A truly free society can be measured by the ability of its citizens to negotiate, and to keep what they produce. Those two concepts serve to spark creativity and industry, better than coercion or ‘compulsory altruism’ could ever hope to.
It may seem too obvious a point to even bring up, but half the battle in a negotiation is simply being likable. Many people enter into a negotiation as the purchaser, assuming that being rude and “hard to please” is a winning combination. Who came up with that theory?
In a free society, no one is under any obligation to acquiesce to the demands of a jerk. Sure, a seller may give a discounted purchase price to earn a little business, but that lower interest rate, extended 4 year warranty and options upgrade they could have tossed in for free? Forget about it.
Salesmen and professional negotiators learn to project “likable” as a necessary adjunct to their profession, especially if they are paid straight commission. Some may call that acting, but if a buyer is in front of you, who may very well put money in your pocket… You LIKE that person, no acting necessary. The best salesmen and negotiators are naturally likable, “Big Picture” people to begin with. The top salespeople in any organization tend to be people who personally care about others.
It is essential that all parties in the negotiation establish rapport on as many levels as possible, as soon as possible. Convincing the other party that they genuinely like you – because you are like them, and a genuinely likable person – is more important than all the slick wordiness or formulaic closes ever written. If the other party wants you to get what you’re after, because they like you, negotiation is a mere working out of the details. If the other party really isn’t all that interested in you, the negotiations are an uphill battle.
Establish yourself as a human being, not just another intrusion into their lives.
Show real interest in the other person’s goals and desires; even if it’s just a quick question which she cannot ignore with an easy “yes or no” answer. The more real and tangible you become to the person you’re negotiating with – the more commonality you find in your lives – the more the “Negotiation” will feel like “Conversation,” which is a very good thing for all parties involved.
Be warm, be friendly, be sincere, be nice, be firm. Negotiation is all about getting what you want, in a fair exchange with another party. It just so happens that helping the other party get what they want, is the clearest path to that goal. Especially if the other party wants you to get what you want, because they like you.
Unfortunately, these concepts can be twisted to serve a darker purpose. A “Con Man” is someone very adept at gaining people’s confidence, then using it to steal from them. Fortunately, most modern internet cons involve getting you to be in on the “swindle” of some large uncaring bank or foreign country. The old adage still applies: “You cannot cheat an honest person.”
Remember that, the next time you open an email offering you 50 percent of untold millions, which reads something like “you seem honest, so let me interest you in breaking the law.”
Editorial by Ben Gaul