Tough negotiations: how to convince even the most intractable interlocutor
30.10.2014 38187

Tough negotiations: how to convince even the most intractable interlocutor

Skills are the tools of a negotiator. Not only how the negotiations go, but whether they will be tough or not depends on how well the opponent and we own them. Sign a profitable contract, agree on a discount from the manufacturer or convince your opponent to buy a batch of shoes from you twice as much as planned ... How to negotiate for the benefit of yourself - the coach Ludmila Melnik knows.

Lyudmila Melnik - an expert in external and internal corporate communications (negotiations, sales, conflicts, influence on the interlocutor). He is the author of techniques for negotiating technologies in the context of tight communication, manipulation and psychological pressure. The author of conflict resolution techniques.tough negotiations.jpg

Tough negotiations. Have you ordered a fight? Lyudmila Melnik.

Publishing house "Peter", 2014

This book is dedicated to negotiations, in particular to those that we call tough. The reader will learn about the scenarios and techniques of tough negotiations, and will also receive a set of tools, using which he will be able to win negotiations more often, as well as enjoy the process and the result. Active listening is a way of feedback and control of the interlocutor. Simple tricks like concentrated facial expressions, nods, yes, yes, it's interesting, etc.:

... show the interlocutor that he is important to us;

... stimulate the interlocutor to speak, and the information is what we need;

... create an image of the listener as “smart” (“if a person listens to me attentively, smart, this characterizes him positively”).

If the interlocutor sits in silence and does not look into the eyes of his counterpart, it seems that:

. . he is poorly raised;

. . the interlocutor is not interesting to him;

. . he was up to something;

. . he is not going to negotiate productively.

Are there many assumptions? But it is on the basis of a certain amount of facts and a large number of assumptions that we draw conclusions about the opponent. And, proceeding from them, we choose the tactics of negotiating.

Negotiation skills

If our interlocutor does not possess the technique of active listening, he may be perceived as a tough negotiator. On the other hand ... A sullen facial expression, lack of eye contact, silence in response to the words of the interlocutor - these are the tricks of a tough negotiator. A negotiator who wants to control the process of communication must be fluent in the technique of active listening - a paraphrase.

We hear the phrase of the interlocutor and, starting from it, build a paraphrase, consisting of two parts. The first part - introductory words: "Do I understand you correctly ...", "So, you meant ..." and so on. The second part is the interpretation of the phrase said by the opponent.

For example:

... opponent: "We cannot cooperate with you."

Paraphrase Options:

..."Do I understand correctly that you have already chosen another supplier for yourself?"

... "Did I understand correctly that this year you have exhausted your budget and we should return to the conversation in six months?". . "So I haven't convinced you?"

We interpret the words of the interlocutor depending on which direction we want to turn the conversation. In the above example, the paraphrase makes it possible to understand the reason for the refusal, catch on and continue negotiations. Of course, the paraphrase may not solve these problems. But if we don't try, we will leave with the typical: “We cannot cooperate with you”, not knowing why, what to do with it and whether it was possible to save the situation at the negotiating table.

Identification of needs

In order for the interlocutor to say "yes" in negotiations, you need to satisfy his needs. And for this they need to be identified using questions. They line up in a specific sequence.

We are clarifying the situation today. Questions begin with the words “what”, “where”, “when”, “how much”, “who”, etc. The better the negotiator knows the opponent's situation, the more accurately he can choose the argumentation.

Determine the discomfort zone of the interlocutor and the way to overcome it. For this, questions such as: "What would you like to change in the present state of affairs?" Most negotiators talk about their needs. But it happens that one of the parties comes up with the desires of the interlocutor. “Well, how ... And so everything is clear! Not for the first time. " As a result, the "know-it-all" begins to satisfy not the real needs of the interlocutor, but his ideas about them. Thinking over the needs of the interlocutor can lead to his irritation: "Why do they decide for me what I need?" and "Why do they offer me what I don't need and waste my time?" At the same time, negotiations can become tough or even stop altogether. Therefore, after the situational, clarifying questions are required - in order to better understand the opponent. A very important question, which may sound both at the first stage of negotiations and at the end, is criterion question: «What is especially important for you in our offer? "," What criteria do you use to choose your partner? " If the negotiations are deadlocked and we hear “no” or “maybe” and do not understand what to do with it, the question of the criterion can save the situation.

Identify match points needs and interests of the interlocutor and our desires, as well as opportunities. Thanks to them, people sit at the negotiating table. At the same time, we will take into account that when we come to negotiations, we are dealing not with one, but with at least two types of needs: the person sitting opposite, and the company that he represents.

Company X wants to work with the supermarket chain Y. Having prepared for the negotiations, the supplier offers a popular and high-quality product designed for the target audience of the supermarket at an adequate price. Everything seems to be going well, but the buyer, who nodded about all the proposals of the interlocutor, at the end of the negotiations does not show much enthusiasm and says: “No. What else can you suggest? " And so several times.

It may feel like he's in tough negotiations to get a better price. In this situation, suppliers often make concessions. But is it right? Don't offer discounts until asked. And if asked - we bargain in full! But if not a discount, what does a buyer need? Probably...

1. Human security needs have not been taken into account.

If the course of negotiations causes tension in the opponent, it may seem to him that you can not rely on the word of the interlocutor.

2. Social needs not taken into account - the opponent may decide that he is not appreciated, not respected, they only want money from him. He also wants to be recognized and respected as a person, and even as a man or woman.

3. Individual mercantile needs are not considered. For example, a negotiator is waiting for a "rollback", and he is told about the self-realization of the company. Does the buyer hear the supplier? Is he motivated to cooperate? Of course, you cannot ask a purchaser whether his human needs are being met. But the questions are: "What else do I need to tell you to make you say yes?" or: "What else would you like to see in our offer to make you interested?" - it's worth aleatherg. Afraid of hearing an offer you can't satisfy? It's okay, this is a proposal, not an ultimatum. Bargain! But if you start offering this and that yourself, trying to guess what your opponent really needs, you risk not getting hit or it’s great to overpay: he will take this, and that, and ask for something else. So we ask questions to identify needs. Is it true that the more needs you learn, the higher your chances of winning? It is important to observe the measure here. There should be no questions

one more than is required to identify needs. In order not to kill the interlocutor, questions need to be prepared before negotiations, their number should be limited and everyone should be carefully thought out, hit on target. If the interlocutor is not in the mood to answer questions, he asks: "Am I under interrogation?" - you should change tactics and make a small presentation or answer the questions of a counterpart. When he relaxes, you can gently continue the interview.


Now we need to "invest" in the needs and interests of the interlocutor, the properties and benefits of our product. Only now! A presentation in a negotiation should appear only after identifying needs, and not immediately after a greeting. The way of packaging the available information - argumentation - can be different, depending on who it is intended for.

According to the predominant channel of perception of people are divided into several types:

the visual - a person who perceives most of the information with the help of sight;

audio - the one who receives basic information through hearing;

kinesthetic - a person who perceives information through other senses (smell, touch, and others);

digital (from English... digital - digital) - someone who thinks in complex schemes and speaks in long sentences, including several participial and adverbial expressions.

Consider the features of perception by example. We have two definitions of argument.

Reasoning represents form human activities in which he realizes himself as a linguistic personality and in which his knowledge and ideas, the system of values ​​and common sense, communication skills and logical culture, epistemic and emotional states, social parameters of the argumentative situation are involved.

Argumentation - a way of forming the listener's beliefs by bringing arguments (arguments) that are significant for a given audience at the moment. I can agree with both definitions, although the first is difficult to read, keeping the writer's thought from the beginning of the sentence to its end. In any case, it's difficult for me, because I am not a digital, for whom the first definition will be more understandable.

It is not an easy task to communicate with a person with a different mindset! Good communicators adjust to the interlocutor: his speech speed and volume, words and phrases, up to speech errors. If you yourself are digital, and the opponent is not, you should not consider the interlocutor dull and slow: he just has a different way of thinking. Try to replace all complex words and concepts with simple ones, break up complex schemes

on a lot of simple ones. And be patient!

During negotiations, it is difficult to pay much attention to adjusting for visuals, audials and kinesthetics - there are too many other important things to keep track of. In order to cover the types of interlocutors as widely as possible, it is useful to have materials, samples and documents for visuals, the same “touch” - for kinesthetics and the usual “speaking” in negotiations - for auditors.

On the other hand, to create maximum tension and discomfort for the interlocutor, you can communicate with him not on his communication channel.

We speak with the interlocutor in his language and his words, adjusting to his picture of the world. Then he will understand us and decide that in front of him is his own, who understands him like no one else.

Work with objections

The rules for dealing with objections are quite simple, but it is this stage of negotiations that causes great difficulties. Why? It seems to the negotiators that if the interlocutor expresses doubts and disagrees on some issues, he does not like the proposal as a whole. Or the objector is perceived as wanting to offend, humiliate, "knock out discounts", etc., that is, is leading tough negotiations.

In fact, the objections are:

… Prompts to the interlocutor: “You did not reveal such a need or criterion in me. Satisfy them and get my yes;

... evidence that the interlocutor is interested in communication.

Objections are a great opportunity to negotiate. This is the material for analysis and preparation for the next negotiations.

When processing objections it is extremely important:

1. Treat them and protesting positively.

2. Remember that the objections do not concern the negotiator as a person, but the issue under discussion.

3. You can’t rush to answer, interrupting your opponent. Often one of the parties thinks: "Yes, I know what he is talking about ..." - and the interlocutor is interrupted, trying to quickly answer. Or, as soon as the listener "understood" the essence of the objection, he turns off his hearing and thinks about the answer. Therefore, the answer is often correct, but to another question - to your idea of ​​what the interlocutor wanted to say, and not to what he really said. It is unlikely that this will please the interlocutor. Repeat the question? Somehow uncomfortable ... And the objection "hangs" - with all the negative consequences for relations and negotiations.

4. If the meaning of the objection is not clear, it needs to be clarified. Otherwise, you may answer the wrong objection or get manipulated. For example, the objection: “And your

competitors are cheaper ”- is not suitable for an answer. It is not clear who has what product, etc. What to compare? Or the objection is aimed at knocking us out of emotional balance so that we, taking it for a fact, begin to make discounts, so as not to lag behind competitors and not lose a client. Therefore, before answering the objection, you need to ask clarifying questions: "What exactly did the competitor offer you: assortment, service, logistics?" And only having received the maximum information, you can argue your price offer.

5. You can not argue with a partner. We agree with the fact: "Yes, it's expensive" - ​​if this is really so. Or we will agree with the right of the counterpart to worry about satisfying the need. Objection: “I think your terms are unfavorable for us” - says that it is important for the interlocutor that the agreement will bring benefits, and the invested money and efforts would give the expected return. Does he have a right to worry about it? Yes! So he is waiting for us to convince him. We agree with him: "Yes, it is very important that working with us is beneficial for you."

6. After agreeing with the fact or need of the opponent, we proceed to argumentation. “Let's look at what makes up the price”, “Yes, it is expensive, and that is why it is beneficial for you: 1), 2) ...”, “Let's look at what is the benefit for your company”.

Work with resistance

How difficult it is to communicate with an interlocutor who resists our proposal! We are arguing anyway, and so, and he: “No! This is probably not interesting, irrelevant. Sometime later. We'll keep thinking". At the same time, one cannot grasp the logic in his refusal. In any case, the interlocutor does not name the reasons for the refusal. Why does a person resist? Sometimes we meet people who suffer when buying groceries in a supermarket: they walk along the shelves and suffer: “Buy these napkins or those? These or these? And if I buy those, what if they do not absorb moisture well? And these ... Are they too tough? Why are there no old ones that I have been buying for five years? Why release new ones when they were good too? " It seems to be a trifle, but for a given person, the question of choice is difficult. And so near every shelf. Those who find it difficult to make a decision will resist any situation that offers a choice of one solution out of two. Our interlocutor may "suffer" from the fact that we offer him to change something in an established stable situation. His company works with suppliers A and B. Yes, there are some problems, and the price is not entirely satisfactory. But our opponent is well acquainted with people from these companies and knows who to call if something happens. And we propose to change everything: to communicate with new people and, possibly, to get new problems. Yes, it will be beneficial for his company (satisfies the needs), but it is extremely inconvenient for the person (does not satisfy his need for security). There is a clash of needs, so our proposal will not be interesting to the interlocutor. People who find it difficult to make decisions are difficult negotiators.

What if the negotiating partner resists? Do not take his words as a refusal, but "hook" in order to continue communication. But how to do that?

- To perceive resistance as information about the interlocutor with whom you need to work, and not as a refusal or a bad attitude personally to us or to our proposal.

- Agree with your opponent's need for security. “Yes, it is very important that the proposal is interesting”, “Yes, the question is difficult and takes time to think about”.

- Perceive the opponent as a Child in this matter (decision-making) and behave with him accordingly. Reassure: “Yes, the question is big and difficult. Most people take some time to figure it out. I will help you. We will now clear it up, and everything will fall into place ”. Decompose a complex question (proposal) into simpler and safer ones: "Let's now consider this component of our proposal." It is important to show him the safety of every single step: “First, we will analyze the current situation. Let's do it this way and that. Yes? "," Then we will think over the situation and provide you with our options for resolving the issue. We will discuss all the points and correct them until our proposals fully meet your expectations. "

As a result, the big and complex question will be decomposed into simpler and safer ones. The child will no longer be afraid of a difficult task and will see it as a few understandable, and therefore safer, actions.

Although this type of interlocutor requires a lot of attention and patience, with the right approach, you can not only win the negotiations, but also build long-term

wearing. The child, who was helped by the Parent, takes the helping and protecting “by the hand” and does not let go. And at the first opportunity it will return to the Parent, even if his prices are higher than those of competitors. Do not change partners again!

Negotiation completion

What is important at this stage? Ask for money. And ask: "So we agreed?"

It is also important not to start moving towards the door after hearing “no”. Do not take "no" as the final answer or tightening negotiations in order to knock out discounts. It is necessary to identify needs and criteria, work with objections. Then there will be a chance to leave with “yes”.

Of the various methods for completing negotiations, I would like to focus on the "method of Socrates". It is also called the “three yes” method. the correct use of the method can increase the chances of winning in negotiations.

So, during negotiations, the partners discuss various issues: price, conditions, terms, delivery volumes, etc. Quite often, starting to pronounce one of the issues, it is “thrown in the middle of the road”. As a result, by the time negotiations are completed, many points accumulate that need to be returned to reconcile. In addition to wasting time and enthusiasm, it reduces the chance of getting a yes: “With so many unresolved issues left, we are not ready yet. Come back in a week. " You can get “yes” for each discussed issue during the negotiations: “We discussed the delivery time. We can assume that we have reached an agreement on this issue:

February 12 suits your company. Yes?" - "Yes". - "Then let's move on to the next question." Thus, during the time of communication, we will have accumulated a certain amount of “yes”, and we calmly complete the negotiations: “So, we discussed all important issues with you. We agreed that this suits you, that too, here we have a common understanding ... Can we sign an agreement? " It is easier for a person who has already said "yes" on all issues important for making a final decision, it is easier to give a positive answer to the main question: "So we agreed?"

If at the end of the negotiations we received “no” or “maybe”, you can use the “Socratic method”: “Let's get back to the issues discussed. We agreed on the volume and on the assortment too. Right? We have no questions about the price? Yes? On what other issue, significant for you, we need to agree so that you would say “yes” to me? " The last “criterion question” allows you to understand whether there is an opportunity to successfully complete negotiations or the reason for refusal.

Skills are the tools of a negotiator. Not only how the negotiations go, but whether they will be tough or not depends on how well the opponent and we own them. Sign a profitable ...
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