Closing a successful deal is no easy task, but it can be even more challenging under pressure. Unfortunately, we are working in an era where people have shorter attention spans and higher expectations which can cause deals to happen faster than ever before. Businesses desire immediate results which can sometimes lead to extreme pressure and high-stakes negotiations. This current economic climate is creating pressure for many negotiators who fear that one slip-up could cost them their jobs. The ability to manage high-stress situations is never easy, but it is one of the primary characteristics that distinguishes great negotiators from the rest. Here are a few tips to help you keep from cracking under the pressure.
If you are working in a job that requires you to negotiate often, it is advantageous to invest a great deal of time in negotiation training courses. These courses will help you master the skills needed to handle high pressure situations through the use of role-play exercises. The only way to truly find out how you will react under stress is to put yourself in that scenario. The more you can practice and engage in advanced training, the better equipped you will be when the time comes to negotiate a high stakes deal.
Identify the Pressures on the Other Side
It is important to remember that in any negotiation, there are pressures and problems on BOTH sides. As humans we tend to focus mainly on our own problems and pressures and forget about the other side. However, recognizing the pressures on the other side will increase your power and strengthen your negotiating position. You already know your needs, but your counterpart has needs as well. Understanding their needs will help you to find opportunities to create a win-win solution that can alleviate the pressures from both parties.
Use Time Pressure to Your Advantage
If you know the needs of your counterpart, you might have the opportunity to strengthen your position through the use of time pressure. Leveraging time is an effective strategy to gain the upper hand in high-pressure situations. Start by asking a few questions such as, “Is there a date in which you need this deal agreed?” “What will happen if we don’t agree by this date?” In some cases, you can work a better deal by applying time pressure.
Work Toward Collaboration
Just because you are in a high-pressure situation doesn’t mean the other side doesn’t have as much to lose as you do. If you enter into the negotiation looking to collaborate and come up with a mutually beneficial solution, it could result in a more successful negotiation. You can start by offering a few favors for the other side. This demonstrates that you are looking out for their interests and it will naturally result in reciprocation. A united front will offer more opportunities for a successful negotiation.