Why Time is a Powerful Negotiation Tool with Jodi Cahn, Ep #216

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Many people are familiar with the concept of time pressure as a negotiation tactic—but what about allowing time to lapse as a tool? How does the passage of time sway a negotiation and become a powerful tactic? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Jodi Cahn shares this powerful negotiation tactic and many others, including understanding and addressing a counterparty’s core needs.

Jodi is an experienced negotiation trainer and has taught KARRASS® Effective Negotiating for 20 years around the globe. On top of being a practice negotiation trainer, she is a Sales Representative with Solar Energy Partners in California. Don’t miss this insightful episode!

Outline of This Episode
  • [0:41] What is negotiation?
  • [2:20] Why is negotiation important in business?
  • [3:17] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [4:58] Jodi’s negotiation process
  • [7:16] Patience truly is a virtue
  • [8:37] Negotiation tools, tactics, strategies
  • [9:51] Top 3 dos and don’ts
  • [11:51] Jodi’s favorite negotiation story
View negotiation as the beginning of a relationship

Negotiation is an exchange where two parties both want in, but there’s a gap that must be closed. It is about an exchange of values. There has to be a give and take piece to it. It is a critical part of business.

“In business as in life—you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate,” — Chester L. Karass

Jodi points out that we’ve got to be able to defend our interests and participate creatively in the give and take process. Nobody likes it when one side wins. Both parties have to be satisfied for successful relationships to be built that will last long-term and be fruitful. So you must be creative and adaptable.

Negotiation is a competitive game and in any competitive game, you make moves and countermoves. So you have to recognize tactics and be able to counter them. But you have to learn to move outside of the game and into a cooperative approach to build a relationship.

Understand the other party’s core needs

Jodi emphasizes that you need to think about the needs of the other party that may not be obvious to you at the outset of the negotiation process. Be creative and listen deeply to address the unspoken needs of the other party—and address them before the other party does. The better you understand their needs and the more specifically you can address them, the more likely it is that they’re going to feel taken care of by you. It forms trust in you when they feel heard by you and they’re willing to be flexible with you in return.

She shares the 10 core needs that you can focus on: financial needs, time, avoiding risk, satisfying organizational demands, avoiding extra costs, convenience, growth potential, reducing aggravation, status, and satisfaction with the deal. It has to do with something called psychological reciprocity. There's a level of psychological reciprocity that takes place between people when they feel heard and appreciated. You want to keep the negotiation in that framework and keep the relationship healthy.

One of the benefits you gain when you focus on and address their core needs? You’re limiting the other party’s options—but only if you can address those needs better than someone else can. Limiting their options gives you power in the negotiation.

The importance of the passage of time

Jodi shares some important attributes a great sales negotiator encompasses. One of them is the ability to be patient and realize that time is your friend. Our culture in the West is in such a hurry all the time. The benefit Eastern cultures have over us is their use of time. They aren’t rushing to get things done. Jodi so poignantly states, “With the passage of time, information surfaces. With the passage of time, the relationship deepens. With the passage of time, people become flexible.” The ability to be patient is critical—but often overlooked. Jodi shares a well-thought list of negotiation dos and don’ts that will leave you inspired, so keep listening.

Time as a negotiation tool

Before Jodi became a negotiation trainer, she was in the film business. She and her partner had a script that we wanted to produce and were negotiating a deal with Lionsgate in the UK. When Jodi saw the terms they were offering, she thought they were absolutely terrible. She didn’t want to respond to it. In fact, the agreement was so one-sided that she chose not to respond.

After three weeks, Lionsgate called and asked for a response. Jodi couldn’t give in, she didn’t know how to respond. They waited for a total of three months. After three months, Lionsgate realized she wasn’t going to respond. What happened? They came back and offered a much better deal to move the film forward.

Jodi corrected the power balance through the use of time and got a deal she was happy with. The moral of the story? Time is a powerful negotiation tool.

Resources and People Mentioned Connect with Jodi Cahn Connect With Paul Watts

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