Quick Tip: Leave a Negotiation on a Friendly and Open Note

This quick tip comes to you courtesy of a client’s recent negotiation that I had to step in to salvage.

My client and his partner (or I should say in this case, adversary) in negotiations could not come to an amicable arrangement. Neither’s request was that far from the others, but they wouldn’t split the difference and move forward.

Believing his own offer to be justified, my client got a bit nasty about the situation and left the negotiation in a hostile manner. What he had failed to consider were two factors:

1. He didn’t have a good BATNA, which means that he had no better alternative to a negotiated arrangement. He needed this deal to go through, and

2. Had he come to an amicable arrangement, his current adversary could have been a future partner to his extreme benefit.

In short, this move – this hostility – was short sighted. Had my client said that he was sorry that they couldn’t reach an arrangement and offered to work with his negotiation partner in the future could they come to more mutually agreeable terms, he would have left something on the table: friendliness. And in a negotiation, friendliness can be a huge ally.

Upon coming back to me, I showed him that he had been a little hasty, and we agreed to apologize for the hostility. Once he apologized, the other party said that he appreciated that gesture so much by comparison that he agreed to my client’s offer! He said that it was the hostility that he perceived during the process that prevented him from yielding to my client’s offer in the first place, and that this gesture of friendliness meant so much that he could make it work this time.

Look what a little friendliness does!

Always walk away from a failed negotiation with a friendly air. It can go miles in ensuring that you may get what you need in the future.

Do you have any negotiations strategies to share with us?

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