Most every qualified negotiator I know is excellent at the what’s and the how’s. The ‘brass tacks’:
- Deliverables included in the deal,
- How these will be delivered,
- Total cost,
- Payment plans and processes…
This list goes on. These are the simple things, relatively speaking. Once you’ve found common ground with a negotiation counterpart, it’s a matter of sharing the path to an acceptable agreement, creating value as you go.
Far more challenging is finding your way onto common ground. It’s crucial that you not only ask questions, but that you ask the correct questions. And that you are nimble enough to rephrase, reframe, and pick up on everything that’s not being said as the conversation goes along.
By the end of this article, you’ll have foundational skills in your toolkit to help you do just that: How to ask ‘why’ in a way that doesn’t make your counterpart defensive, how to recognize (and question) your assumptions, how to get more information without asking anything at all, and, if all else fails, how to read between the lines.