Let's play a little fun experiment. Get a friend to stand next to you and without warning, begin pushing against her. What do you expect her reaction to be? Of course! To maintain balance, she'll push back. But don't stop there. Push harder, even harder. Observe how she returns exactly the same negotiation seminars (maybe she'll even throw in a slap if you push in the wrong place).
What's the moral of the story? Every push merits a counter shove. Newton's third law of thermodynamics eloquently states the principle, "For every force there is an equal and opposite force." In real life negotiations, this simple fact is often overlooked to the detriment of both parties. Someone would raise a controversial point to which the rival party disagrees. The opposing team then launches a vigorous contradiction. In response, the proponent staunchly defends his position. Voices rise and negotiation seminars flare. Productivity spirals. If no one has the sense to realize the futility of direct argumentation, the negotiation ends in a deadlock.
In my seven years of spearheading real estate negotiations for the family company, I've learned one valuable lesson: when presented with a viewpoint opposite to yours, NEVER argue right away. You simply invite retaliation. The harder you disagree, the deeper your opponent digs in. This is a battle of egos-- no one wants to be proven wrong!
Fortunately, there is a powerful technique that savvy negotiation seminars deploy in order to defuse tension and quickly channel support to their side. Already eager to unleash it? Here's your simple three step plan: 1) acknowledge the other party, 2) show partial agreement with their stance, 3) then suavely insert your views. This formidable method allows you to avoid presenting an "opposing force" which invites retaliation. Master negotiators call this the FEEL, FELT, FOUND Technique. Commit this to memory and you can easily and naturally recover from any objection or argument!
Let's see how this technique allows you to defuse any tension:
Buyer: I don't think I'll take your product. Your price is too high
You: I can understand exactly how you FEEL because others have FELT exactly the same way. But you know what they've FOUND? We offer the widest array of free after-market support and unparalleled negotiation seminars. They keep coming back, as I'm confident you will.
Buyer: We've heard disturbing rumors that your company cannot deliver negotiation seminars on time. For us, timely delivery is mission critical. How can we do business with you if this is the case?
You: I understand your concern because I've heard that rumor before as well and our other clients FELT the same way. You must understand that we've long resolved that issue by expanding our supply network with a fleet of new Boeing 747's. Today, we've already garnered the business of fifteen Fortune 500 companies. They've FOUND our services incomparable.
Buyer: There is no way the Board of Directors will authorize the release of $3M for building materials that your competitor can supply for $2.8M
You: I understand how you FEEL about cutting your costs. All our other buyers FELT the same way. But here's what they FOUND: our negotiation seminars are class triple A and boast a lifespan three times that of any other building material on the market. If its longevity and quality you want, we have the best products for you. I'm fully aware that your company has an image of prestige and quality to maintain. With us, we can readily help you provide your customers the best.
Observe how the FEEL FELT FOUND technique quickly defuses the potential for disagreement. As you stop and realize it now, the technique is very much akin to verbal aikido: you gently take your client's argument, nullify it through acknowledgment, and quickly turn it inside out with your negotiation seminars. He'll never know what hit him as he signs your contract!