On February 27th, 2012, our monthly event included a presentation by Darla Campbell of amonavi consulting group (and AIC VP Communications) on “Negotiating for Results”. After the presentation, we asked her to tell us what the she wanted people to take away with them from the evening:
Some highlights from the video:
Begin with the end in mind. Then to know your outcome is one of the key points. Another is to know and understand the range of options that you might have. And the range of options that your client might be able to consider.
Know what your upper and lower limits are.
Know when and if you can walk away from the negotiation.
Be specific when you can. That’s your number [your price for your service] and that’s what you can work for. Sometimes you have to hold onto that for all you got. On the other hand we are looking for a win-win, so sometimes we have to look at a range of options and the range of ideas. You need some flexibility. The law of requisite variety requires flexibility. It’s valuable to take a look at specifics, and to understand the range of what’s acceptable to you and the client.
Many consultants, especially those in new in doing business, feel that they have to “win” every negotiation or every sales deal. And that puts the salesperson or the consultant at a bit of a disadvantage because they’re looking to win at all costs. But if one enters the negotiation understanding that there may be a time when it’s necessary to walk away, it takes the pressure off the person doing the negotiating. And it certainly provides more options for consideration.
You can walk away and come back another day, another time; you can come back next year or try a different approach.
Why did I talk about running a marathon? There were two goals. One was to imagine success in the future and to look at the positive side of coming through a successful negotiation or reaching a particular goal. There’s something powerful about imagining oneself having completed something, because once we can see ourselves in the picture of success in the future, it makes it easier for us to find alternatives when things get rough. It’s kind of like running a marathon; sometimes the road gets rough and you have to decide whether you going to keep on going or not. When you can imagine, what it looks like and feels like…
What is “chunking up and down”? It’s a technique that I adore and it’s very easy. It’s a matter of realizing where you are [in the conversation] and understanding that you can become more broad and general and less specific as one “chunks” up. And in the process of “chunking up” and becoming less specific, it’s easier to find areas of agreement. Once one finds an area of agreement with our client, you can “chunk down” with the client quickly as the client remains in agreement with our presentation. It’s the opposite of how most consultants want to sell their “stuff” but it gives you a starting point where to sell. It gives you a starting point of common ground where the client is interested on a general basis and then taking them down into the details. And showing them how your proposal fits within the bigger picture.