During a negotiation, you can change your approach. You don’t have to maintain your initial approach or your initial position; you can change it at any time.
During a negotiation, you can change your approach. You don’t have to maintain your initial approach or your initial position; you can change it at any time. Your opponent won’t maintain their approach or their position, so along the way, throughout the deal, determine your counteroffers and your approach and how it might change and how those changes might benefit your position.
For example, you can become more or less aggressive. You can become cooperative. You might change your anchor. In the initial negotiation, you said the price was here, but you know what? The price just went up or the price went down. You can add negotiating points along the way. Just because you didn’t ask for something right out of the gate, doesn’t mean you can’t add it later on.
Beware of getting locked into a single negotiating approach. Your opponent can and will use that against you. We were involved in a very contentious negotiation at one point. In the beginning, we were very collaborative, but our opponent was very combative. We knew the main points we wanted. They were price and deal structure. We also knew that time was our friend and their enemy. Throughout the negotiations, we continued making concessions and we stayed collaborative the entire time, as long as price and structure were acceptable to us.
But time passed, and the other party changed structure and they got very aggressive at one point. But the thing they missed was so much time had passed that our position was going to change because time was now on our favor. We turned around and got very aggressive in that negotiation and based on the structure and pricing at that point, we pushed very hard for additional concessions. The other party was caught by surprise by our change in approach and overall, it worked out much better for us. Our willingness to take our collaborative approach and set it aside, understand the impact of time and how it had changed, and change our approach to be more aggressive, drove a lot of value for our organization.
As you’re going through your deal process, think through the approach you’re taking now and if there are changes that you can make, as well as what the impact of those changes might be. Be willing to change approach, but only do so when you fully understand the benefits and the risks of doing so.
Want to learn more about strategic negotiation? How about taking an entire course on it? Go directly to the course and start learning how to perform better in negotiations. The entire course is available at LinkedIn Learning. Enjoy!
Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!