Your Profile as a Negotiator - Part 1 of 5
This is the first of a 5 part series that are excerpted from that book. In part 1(today), we’ll explore your profile as a sales negotiator. The remaining 4 are interviews with negotiators in different fields. I think you’ll find it interesting to compare your answers to theirs.
Your Profile as a Negotiator
No one succeeds as a negotiator (or in business, or in life, for that matter) without a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
The following questions are designed to help you see yourself accurately as a negotiator. Answer them simply, without trying to second-guess the answers. Don’t answer with thoughts about how you are “supposed to be.” Your answers should be an accurate reflection of you as a negotiator. And anytime you’re unsure, remember, the first thought is often the most accurate.
You might jot down your answers, or you can simply answer them to yourself. (I recommend jotting them down.)
1. Consider your best results in negotiation. What do they have in common?
- Is there a pattern to your successes? Looking at your wins, do you see any similar circumstances? For example, similar personality types you do better with?
- In those successful negotiations, were you in a group, or were you flying solo? How early in the process were you involved?
- Think about your planning. Would you say it was poor? Average? really good?
2. Now consider your worst results in negotiation. What do they have in common?
- Don’t leave out negotiations where other people were to blame or where the situation was a hopeless mess going in. (After all, you made the decision to affiliate with those people or to enter the situation.)
- You need to have as accurate a picture of your weaknesses as possible. Understanding why you lost in the past is a powerful tool to help you succeed in the future.
3. What do those poor negotiating results have in common?
- Is there a pattern to your failures? Did they have any circumstances in common? Similar personality types you were dealing with?
- Were you in a group, or negotiating by yourself? How early in the process were you involved?
- Think about your planning. Would you say it was lousy? Average? Excellent?
4. What is your Achilles’ heel?
This question is important because it focuses your attention on your most vulnerable area—the thing most likely to get you into trouble. Here are a couple of questions to help you see this issue clearly:
- When, or under what circumstances, are you most likely to act in ways that aren’t in your best interests as a negotiator?
- Is there a point in the negotiation when you are most likely to lose sight of your goals or give away more than you should?
5. If you could have any additional skills as a negotiator, what would they be?
6. When are you at your best (and most secure) as a negotiator?
Look at your responses to the questions above. Are they an accurate reflection of who you are as a sales negotiator?
Starting next week we'll look at the answers some very good sales negotiators gave to similar questions. Some of these people negotiate themselves every day, and some manage others who negotiate. All these people are powerful and well respected in their companies and their industries. They all are high achievers, and their combined negotiations involve hundreds of millions of dollars.
Reading and thinking about their replies is an interesting exercise. As you read through these interviews, you’ll be able to compare their responses with your own answers to the same questions. I think you’ll find their answers interesting and enlightening.
See you next week.