Build Value for the Other Party
Finally, focus on building value for the other side. This is especially useful when you’re the perceived “weaker” party in the negotiation, or if the other party seems to hold all the cards.
A famous example often used in negotiation training is the case of the giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo. In the 80’s, the zoo’s director wanted to bring in a giant panda display, which is a popular draw for visitors and would help build the zoo’s public profile.
There was one major problem, though: China is the only place in the world with giant pandas, and the zoo didn’t have an equally giant pile of cash lying around to pay whatever sum the country requested for the animals.
In a long and complex series of negotiations, the zoo worked with multiple stakeholders (both countries’ governments, wildlife and conservation groups, and more) to negotiate from a position of what many would define as an extreme weakness—China held all the power.
The zoo had to get creative to understand the wants and needs of the other side and to offer added value (new equipment, access to technology, funding for salaries, etc.) that would meet those wants and needs.
It’s a fascinating case study and I highly recommend checking it out in its entirety if you’re interested in learning more of the intricacies of negotiation.
The takeaway for you? When the other party seems to hold all the power, look for ways you’re able to build value outside of the obvious negotiating terms, then add that to your side of the case.
By meeting face to face, going in with a positive frame of mind, referencing neutral data and building value for the other side, you’ll be much more likely to reach terms that are favorable for you and your growing business.
Have you negotiated a huge deal successfully? Leave us a comment and share what worked best for you.
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