I have been negotiating with my customers more than normal lately. Interestingly enough is how different each customer negotiates. One is very up front, telling me what they want, how much they can give, all the while looking for a win-win situation for both my company and theirs. The other customer doesn’t push too hard on anything, accepting most of what I am able to provide, and is grateful for whatever works out. Another customer is determined to have a win-lose situation. They always want you to feel like you are in a position of giving more than they do, and I have to play my cards very close to the vest, because this customer will always use any information I give against me.
Negotiations always seem to be so interesting.
Have you ever had negotiations start to escalate? Almost get out of hand? If so, how did you react? I heard William Ury recently talk about this at the Willow Creek Leadership summit: “The biggest power we have in a negotiation is the power NOT to react!!! How long can they yell or complain if you are just listening!”
This seems to emulate a common theme that the bible teaches us as well.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Prov 15:1 (NIV84)
Even in the situations that I described above, my reaction is what is going to tip the scales in the negotiations. A real Christian businessman knows this and knows that he must always try to treat others respectfully. It will always win in the end. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” must always be at the forefront.
I realize that it is not the easiest thing to do, and in some instance it can backfire, but in the end taming your reaction and thinking how you would want to be treated will always win out. Do you agree?