People who say they hate sales better learn to love it.

It’s best to learn to love something you have to do anyway.

The reason is that you sell all the time; to your wife or eventually she’d divorce you.

To your children so that you’ll get buy-in for your raising methods. And selling involves negotiating.

What’s new in how one negotiates well? Well, it’s tempting to think negotiations are over once you seal the deal. Think again. This is where the term ¨re-negging¨comes from. The deal closed, you let down your guard, thought you were home free and suddenly the client doesn’t like the feel of the deal and wants back to the table.

I had the pleasure of taking a course in negotiation with Gaylen Paulson, the Associate Dean of the McCombs School of Business, Director of Texas Executive Education, and faculty member in the Department of Management. She said to approach negotiation as an ongoing process.

  Negotiations always end later than you expect…far beyond the contract signing. You have to think ahead to deal execution and future iterations.

Good negotiating gets done by watching a few simple things:

  1. Watch getting triggered. If your buttons get pushed, quietly count to 10. The client doesn’t know you well enough to knowingly offend you. Rack it up to coincidence they should have hit a sore spot.
  2. Make a point to practice ¨sitting in it¨- resist the temptation to get out of an uncomfortable position but continue to communicate till you make it to the other side of the sticky parts of the negotiation.
  3. Trust that a fit-is-a-fit-is-a-fit. When you close a deal it’s most likely because you and the client worked well together already in closing it. That bodes well for the future.

Even though you may be the party receiving compensation for your services and you are the one not benefiting from but providing them, you are still in a 50/50 partnership. Both parties work to make it work. Therefore, it is vitally important that the ongoing negotiation you will be doing is not in being at odds with the client.

Stanford Business outlines this in its Five Steps to Better Negotiating –

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/margaret-neale-five-steps-better-negotiating

Inhere, Neale argues that getting out of the us-vs-them mindset when negotiating is crucial for success. View negotiation as being on the same half of the playing field. You don’t just want to score. You want the ball to go into the same goal.