PB-180 Framework for a Great Negotiation - Property Inc

[ Podcast Transcription ]

  I’m Peter Bonamac Niss, and he is Chris Lane, and welcome to another of these regular property briefings.

And a warm welcome to you, Chris. Well, I’m delighted to be here. In some earlier podcasts, you’ve covered the various aspects required for a successful negotiation. And we were discussing earlier a session you did for your mentor group on how to create a framework for a great deal. I was just wondering if you might share a few of those insights.

Well, most of my mentor group have been through my Negotiating Masterclass, which Breaks down everything into separate components as to how to be a top negotiator. And in the last webinar, I posed to them 20 questions they need to answer. Which when you take them together will help you fully address everything involved and the questions are there to ensure that you’re thoroughly prepared and also that highlights the things you need to look out for so as to leave nothing on the table during a negotiation.

You mentioned there were 20 questions involved. Would you be able to walk our listeners through some of them? Okay, well let’s quickly run through them. The first question is, are you pursuing what you really want? In other words, never go into a negotiation until you’ve clearly defined the outcome that you have in mind.

Make sure you write it down concisely and then make it the focal point of your prep work. Next, are you researching your opposition? And that’s important because you have to learn as much as you can about whom you’re up against to just try and discover. what they want, their strengths, their weaknesses, even their likes and their dislikes.

And then, are you preparing thoroughly? And that means point by point. It’s important you do your homework on the property, on the market. and the neighborhood. You don’t want to be fumbling for papers, looking for statistics or sales evidence. Instead, you need to focus on the deal and have everything at your fingertips.

And then, are you considering the method and the timing of the negotiation? Now, wherever possible, start your negotiation face to face because it’s always easier for them to say no over the phone or by email. Furthermore, Master negotiators always initiate the process in order to gain an advantage of both preparation and timing.

And then, are you achieving early agreement? Even trying to get minor agreement on one or two points early in the negotiation, Even if it’s just a recognition of a potential problem. I mean, for example, you could say something like, I think we can now agree that we have an issue with such and such, so let’s find a way to resolve that, because that implies cooperation.

And then, are you exploring constraints and flexibilities? Now, discovering the cards held by the other side can be invaluable. Some of their constraints may be immovable, but you may find some issues to be reasonably flexible and likewise examine and understand your own constraints and flexibilities.

Are you adopting a reasonable attitude? In many negotiations, you end up forming a relationship with the other side and this needs to be mutually beneficial. Therefore, recognize and acknowledge their constraints and desires just as you expect them to recognize yours. And then, are you listening carefully?

As you appreciate, listening is actually quite different from merely hearing whenever someone speaks to you. Make sure that you fully understand what is actually being said, but more importantly, Why it’s being said. Well that certainly does make sense. What else should we be asking ourselves? Okay, well moving on.

Are you offering solutions? You need to understand that it’s certainly not one-way. Traffic. Part of your role is to come up with solutions, and in every negotiation you ought to try to make a guess as to what the objections, issues, problems to the other side are likely to be in. What they’ll come up with.

Because once you do that, you can propose alternative solutions. and flexible outcomes that they may not have even considered. Are you properly anticipating? What you’re trying to anticipate here is the other party’s reactions, objections, and responses. For each possible objection or reaction, you need to list what you might be able to use as a response.

Try to come up with alternatives and examples to counter the other party’s potential negatives. And then, are you seeking out win win resolutions? And when it’s all said and done, negotiating is really nothing more than give and take by both parties. And what you’re seeking to do is to trade your least important items for those that will really help you achieve your desired outcome.

Then are you proposing options, not ultimatums? Now, you should only use an ultimatum as a very last resort, and only when you can back it up and carry it through, and the other side knows that. Now even then, you’re probably better to seek options and alternatives which will lead to a positive outcome for both parties.

And understand that whenever the only answer is simply yes or no, someone has to lose. So, are you staying with the big picture? Don’t allow yourself to end up debating just one point or issue, because to resolve that issue, as I said, someone has to lose. To achieve your desired outcome, always make sure that you have a number of variables under negotiation at the same time, and that way you can float some trial balloons, which we discussed in an earlier podcast, simultaneously.

In an attempt to trade, what are the minor issues for you? And are you adopting persuasive rationale? Think about what you need to do or say to logically convince the other side without the need for confrontation. You might not necessarily win every point, but they will have difficulty finding flaws in your logic.

And whenever they are ambivalent on a particular point that’s important to you, your logic We’ll generally win the day every time. I haven’t been counting, but I think you’re well over halfway through the questions. Are you able to just cover the final ones for us? Okay, well, are you remaining professional?

Now, you simply can’t afford to lose your temper and still retain respect from the other side. Now, I know people can be insulting and… It’s all too easy to respond aggressively, but sometimes they’re just doing that to test you or test your patience. So you may simply need to suggest adjourning the negotiations to give them a chance to regain their composure.

And if it’s a genuine outburst on their part, well, they’ll cool down. And if it’s merely a ploy, then they’re going to look rather stupid when you reconvene. Are you aware of the benefits and consequences? You need to try and understand the benefits and consequences for both parties in the negotiation.

Only then can you properly decide when and how to make any concessions. And when and how to stand firm with your own needs and requests. Are you employing the power of silence? Now, again, we discussed this in some earlier podcasts, but it can become uncomfortable as most negotiators feel a need to jump in and add some comment whenever there is an awkward pause in proceedings.

But whenever the answer to your question will actually commit the other party After you’ve asked it, say absolutely nothing more, otherwise all you’ll get is further conversation. Are you avoiding on the spot decisions? Never commit to a major point unless you’re absolutely sure of it, and you know you’re on solid ground.

No matter what the pressure, all you need to simply say is, I may need to sleep on that. Can I get back to you tomorrow? Then, are you considering the telephone? Now by choice as I said, negotiations should commence face to face. However, as things progress, you’ll sometimes find you can progress things faster by phone because it takes out all the emotion and allows you to simply focus on the rational items rather than any personal issues.

And finally, Are you documenting the final agreement? Now sadly, too many people leave a negotiation with only a handshake. A short summary by way of a heads of agreement, a confirming letter or an email is all you need to tie the deal down. You need to have some form of documentation at the end if this is a serious negotiation.

What I generally say is, look, let’s just make a few notes on the points we’ve agreed for each of our files and then we can both just initial it. And I can see why that final question is so important. Well, not only is it important, it’s vital. Because it provides a basis for the contract to be prepared.

And when the contract arrives, you can then confidently say, that’s not what we agreed. Now, if both of you have the same set of notes, it’s easy to verify whether or not the contract has been drawn correctly. Otherwise, you’ll quickly discover how recollections can often change between reaching agreement and the formal contract emerging, and as a result, all you’ll then get is more conversation and have to restart the negotiation over again.

Well, hopefully. These questions of help provide a helicopter view of how each component of a negotiation relates to all the others. And by the way, I can include a link to the framework below this session so our listeners can download it for future reference. Yes, that would be most helpful. And thank you once again for all your insights today.

You know, it’s always a pleasure.