In Business Negotiation, Relationships Matter

Most people avoid negotiation entirely. 70% in fact. That’s a problem because negotiations are a great way to move relationships forward. Unfortunately with so much reluctance and avoidance, it’s a safe bet that many deals stall because we just don’t want to negotiate. And that is due to a fear of losing. There is a better way.

We start with clear objectives. Negotiations should always include these two objectives:
1) Gain the best deal for our side;
2) Achieve “Both Grow” status in which the relationship elevates for both sides.

The first objective is driven off the financial realities of business, and our need to protect the bottom line. The second speaks to a basic principle in business: The Relationship Must Outlive the Negotiation. Let’s take it one step further and use the negotiation to elevate and improve the relationship.

But wait a minute; are we serving two conflicting masters here? How can we boost our deal and the relationship at the same time? We do that with commitment and a good process. If you negotiate with a “win at all costs” attitude, you’ll be replacing customers, suppliers and employees regularly. Which is costly and just flat wrong.

In her bestselling book entitled Fierce Leadership, Susan Scott captures the point succinctly: “Without relationships, there is no voltage”. The voltage that powers our business is relationships. And the converse is a “power outage” called stalled deals and a failed enterprise.

You can achieve both objectives. We can help. Let’s talk soon.

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