Being Needy or Greedy Doesn’t Help
When I speak on the topic of negotiation skills, I like to recall a couple of famous quotes that are surefire ways to lose in almost any negotiation. As a negotiation skills speaker and negotiation skills consultant and book author, I never like to see anyone “get hurt” in a negotiation because of an easily avoidable attitude.
The two quotes
Who knows how far back the quote, “A friend in need, is a friend indeed” might go? I seem to recall it might have been Benjamin Franklin (himself an impressive negotiator) and the “opposite” of that quote, attributed to the screenplay writer of the movie Wall Street, where the infamous Gordon Gekko uttered the words “Greed is Good!”
In negotiations it is unwise to come across as being either too needy or too greedy. Either approach will damage a negotiation.
My first question about the first quote is this: “Is it wise to come across as too needy?” Of course not. Invariably, negotiations are sunk then the person negotiating appears desperate to get a deal done, or unsure of themselves and their product or service. The perception of the other side is that the needy negotiator is weak and filled with doubt.
As a negotiation skills keynote speaker and negotiation consultant, my message (if you fear you fall into this category) is not to be too hard on yourself, but to get negotiation skills training. Negotiation skills mastery require practice and patience. Bottom line is to have complete understanding on what makes your product or service special.
Knowledge always leads to confidence. The more knowledgeable you are, the more confident and self-assured you become. “Winging it,”is a bad look; know what you are talking about (without coming across as arrogant) and at the same time, know yourself. As a negotiator, are you unsure or fearful or the very worst, don’t believe you come across as an asset to your company? I often work with “scaredy cats” who become tigers, but nice tigers and nice negotiators. Far better to carry a healthy amount of fear with you than arrogance.
Greed isn’t good
In the end, Gordon Gekko wound up in a jail cell. While that’s pretty extreme for a blog on negotiation skills what ultimately destroyed the movie’s character was his insatiable greed. A negotiation is just that; an effort to reach an agreement where both parties walk away from the table feeling good about the arrangement – and good about themselves.
From negotiated peace settlements after an armed conflict to purchasing a used dining table, the trick (though it’s hardly magic) is to get what you want, but also to be able to return to the table in good faith and work out another deal. For history tells us that enemies can become allies, and even purchasing used furniture has led to friendships.
Please note from above that I intentionally put quotes around the word “opposite.” As a negotiation skills keynote speaker, I know that people who convinced themselves they were too needy, may go to the other extreme in their next negotiation and come across as pompous and inflexible. The arrogant may decide to get overly, uncomfortably ingratiating or subservient. Neither approach works.
Be yourself, be a decent person, ask for what you need and strive for agreement. As a negotiation skills consultant I can help you get there.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Mike Hourigan, Negotiation Skills Keynote Speaker please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.