Thursday, January 5, 2012

You Gotta Leave a Little Something on the Table ...

I worked with a business consultant once who always pressed for the advantage … always for himself. He had great pride in his tough negotiating stance. He never wanted to leave anything on the table. And, he never did.

His scorched earth negotiating tactics left few if any survivors. Those who did engage in battle with him and who managed somehow to survive vowed to never do business with him again.   

He never learned the most important negotiating concept of all. You see, you gotta leave a little something on the table.

Ever been involved with a negotiator like this?

The hard-nosed guy pushes and pushes and in the end says something like, “Well, you can’t blame me for asking for the moon. It’s just business. I had to try and take it all.”

But the fact is, you do blame him. And although the deal is done – you vow to never again do business with him. You’ve learned by sad experience now that you can never trust him. You can never turn your back with him around. You can never rest when he is near. He is a snake and you best be wary of him.

To build your business, I think you gotta leave a little something on the table.

When you want to do business with someone in the future, you leave a little on the table. When you want them to say nice things about you to others, you leave a little on the table.  When you want superior service and value, you leave a little more on the table. When you want to sleep well at night, you leave a little on the table. When you want to build a relationship, you leave a little on the table.

You get the picture, right?!

If you are like the business consultant I worked with from time to time, who was so very proud of his negotiating skills and always eager to prove himself as a hard-nose businessman able to squeeze the last drop out of every transaction – then ignore my previous advice.

Go ahead. It’s easy to do. Just demand the very most for the very least in return. Grab and squeeze. Be hard. Always maintain an adversarial posture. Keep fighting and clawing and scratching. Scorch the earth. Take advantage. Take it all.  

But if you prefer to build a lasting business, leave a little on the table. Match what you can do with what the other person wants. Give it up … don’t withhold it as a negotiating ploy. Then you may ask for what you want to make the deal work. If it is a match, then you’ve both won. If it is not a match, then you may walk away and still maintain the relationship for the future.

And that I think is even easier.

Good Selling!

J  Dana

Mr. Dana Kehr
Pro Marketing Northwest
PO Box 731413
Puyallup, WA  98373


P.S.  Need help putting together deals that work for all involved? Contact me. That’s what I do!

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