We insist in trying to convince everyone who has a different opinion than ours with arguments. It’s always the other person who is wrong and we are the ones who are right. They must change their mind. If you ask any child, who is the most beautiful mother in the world, they will answer their own mother. Each child thinks that their mother is the most beautiful one of them all, they can´t understand how others think that theirs is more.

Negotiating is not about convincing

We negotiate when we approach the zippers through trading and not through persuasion. To trade you need a lot of information from them and to get it you will have to ask lots of questions to explore their needs, limitations, motivations, interests, fears, inhibitions, priorities and aspirations. Do not try to influence, sell your idea, convince, argue, induce, challenge or fight. Now you must understand what they want. If you do not understand what they want, how are you going to give it to them?

Reduce the persuasive dialogue in favor of a constructive negotiating one. This, essentially, seeks to share information and not to sell your idea. We usually invest more time in persuading than in developing a negotiating dialogue. Why is this happening? Because we all believe that what we have to say is true. We are convinced that our point of view and our logic is correct: “Don’t you understand?” “You don’t get it?” It seems easier to use persuasion because it is the habit learned as a child and we have always used it to defend our proposals and to try to make the others change their opinion.

Salespeople who have not had the opportunity to receive training have been forced to learn to sell for themselves. Their techniques rely on natural behaviors. They speak a lot. They tell the same stories rehearsed beforehand and fill the dreaded silence with words. Negotiating dialogue involves having an interest on what they are saying, their point of view, their logic and their issues. It means to talk less and ask more questions. Persuasion often fails in a negotiation because we use arguments that sound very persuasive to us and we assume that they also must be persuasive for the other. An effective persuasion is built on the understanding that they can think differently.


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