negotiation skillsDefine value, win credibility and respect at the negotiation table. Learn the key negotiation skills, including how to generate winning conditions, regardless of what is being negotiated, or with whom.

Below, you will find blog posts with insights into effective negotiation skills. And for a much more thorough discussion of negotiation skills, download our complimentary whitepaper “Negotiation Games: Spotting and Neutralizing Five Tactics that can Damage Deals”

Misusing Leverage: The High Cost of a Short-Term Negotiation “Win”

Do repeat business assumptions count in your business plan? If so, the way you conduct your negotiations takes on much greater importance.

Some view negotiation as a series of devious games and ego contests conducted to gain advantage by keeping the other side continuously off balance, intimidated or flustered. We find this approach to negotiation quite short-sighted if your “win” leaves the other side angry, resentful and questioning your credibility. Who wants to do more business with someone who makes them feel as if they have been bullied or tricked? The logical response will be to aggressively seek an alternative the next time around, whether you are a buyer, seller or “business partner.” That doesn’t sound like much of a win to us. Read more

Negotiation Blocking Techniques

In one sense, negotiations are a strategic exchange of ideas and information. But the value of what information we give (and when) can have a very real bearing on our success.

As you seek leverage in the deal, you are trying to find key information from the other side. If you’re negotiating with seasoned professionals, you can expect them to do the same with you. Sometimes difficult questions arise that, when answered, could erode your position. For example, if you have few or no real alternatives to doing an important deal, revealing that fact to the other side can cost you dearly. That’s why experienced negotiators have a handful of practiced blocking techniques they use when they feel a certain question must be deflected. As always, consider your purpose, audience and personal style as you decide how, and when, to use any of these strategies. Read more

International Negotiation: Using the MID™ to Cut Confusion

“We must have a 10-day shipment guarantee.”
“This functionality is a must.”
“A price reduction is mandatory.”

How often have you heard conditions like these during a negotiation? Sometimes negotiators make every request sound as if it were mandatory. But what are the real deal-breakers? K&R’s MID™ is designed to help you identify and prioritize the issues in any negotiation. Using the MID, you can separate and deal with the truly mandatory goals (or ends) while reducing conflict over issues that may not be mandatory. The MID approach makes deals easier to close. Read more

Negotiation Examples: The Value of Persistence

negotiation motivation

I often ask people, “Who are the best negotiators in the world?” The most common answer is, “Children.” Yet, children have never been trained in negotiations (certainly not by us). What makes them such naturally effective negotiators?

There are a number of answers to that question. For example, children use tactics of emotional blackmail (screaming in a public place) or they will “negotiate” with principled concessions (“I will eat the peas if you let me stay up until 10.”). The answer we hear most often is that children are naturally persistent – they just don’t take “no” for an answer. Their wants are simple (“I want a cookie.”), yet they have the willingness to repeat the request as often as needed to get their desired outcome. Any parent can tell you about a repetitive argument they’ve had with their child – the child, being persistent and having absolutely no sense of time pressure, simply repeats the same argument over and over again until the parent loses patience and gives in. Read more

Sales Negotiator Training: Better Forecasting Closes More Deals

negotiator training improves sales forcasting

Sales forecasting is a critical activity for any team, but many companies have a hard time getting it right. Business pressures or subjective measures – emotions and opinion – often have too much weight, and distort the process. For business leaders who want to give their teams a dependable way of analyzing deals so they can focus on activities that will result in more closes, sales negotiator training should include some aspect of sales forecasting.

Most sales or negotiation training focuses on the process, rather than the “why” and “how.” Yet this process delivers more repeatable success if we know how to analyze and predict the outcomes of our sales opportunities. Some of the most critical negotiation work happens during analysis and preparation – long before we discuss pricing and terms at the negotiation table. Negotiators who learn a structured approach to sales forecasting learn more about: Read more

Define Value, Win Credibility and Respect at the Negotiation Table

Define Value, Win Credibility and Respect at the Negotiation Table with a Few Simple Questions

Have you ever heard this from a customer during a discussion? “We’d like an additional 10% discount. If you give this discount to me, we can close the deal.” Sellers hear this all the time. More often than not, sellers concede immediately in the interest of getting the fast close. But is this the correct response? Let’s consider the advantages. As a seller, if the deal really closes after you give the quick discount, you can count the revenue and move on to the next deal. And maybe the client likes you for that moment. Read more

Shaping Your Value Argument

Shaping Your Value Argument: Know Your Internal Audiences on the Client Side and Close the Deal

Relentless and thorough preparation is where negotiators on the vendor side shortchange themselves. It’s a major point of focus during our negotiation training, and one of the most critical aspects of this is considering the various groups of stakeholders across the table that need to understand and buy your value argument. Crafting your value argument – the ultimate answer to the question, “What’s in it for us?” – can fall flat and jeopardize the deal if your argument is presented with only one kind of stakeholder in mind.

The diagram below shows the relationship between roles, motivations (measurement concerns) and relative numbers of people that are typical at many lines of business. Read more

Overcoming Negotiation "Dealbreakers": K&R’s MID Chart of Goals™

How often have you encountered a “must have,” a “need” or a “dealbreaker” in a negotiation? People on both sides of the table can be unnecessarily painted into a corner when these supposed “non-starter” positions are expressed.

But in reality, there are very few dealbreakers in negotiations. More often than not, the true problem is that people in negotiations have trouble breaking down the issues and organizing them in matter of importance. Either as partners in the negotiation process or during our negotiating seminars, we help our clients break down each issue on the table so they can identify and separate means (how we’ll get there) and ends (the desired destination). Once ends and means are untangled, it is amazing how many seemingly intractable issues are suddenly neutralized. Read more

Negotiation and Leadership

K&R Negotiations’ Mladen Kresic Pens Guest Piece on Negotiation and Leadership for the Hartford Business Journal

K&R Negotiations co-founder and CEO Mladen Kresic recently penned a guest column for the Hartford Business Journal’s Talking Points section. The guest post discusses Kresic’s recent encounter with Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Paul Bucha, who was a captain of the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War and, later in life, a successful business leader and chief executive.

While accompanying his son’s Cub Scout troop to hear a talk given by Bucha, Kresic was struck by how the principles of leadership described by the speaker were indispensable qualities for a good negotiator. Read more