Monday, November 26, 2012

Negotiation Tips for ISVs

When it comes to negotiation, style supersedes substance. That's what Herb Cohen says in his book "Negotiate This!"

Cohen presents a number of tips for playing the Game -
  • Project yourself as somebody who is trustworthy - somebody with whom your opponent would want to do business. Your character is reflected in the way you articulate your feelings.
  • Listen actively.
  • Display interest and sensitivity.
  • Be considerate.
  • Avoid nuances and subtleties. Instead, frame your arguments in black-and-white terms.
  • Present yourself as a person with values. Many people will respect your beliefs, Cohen believes, even if they disagree with them.
  • Be cooperative. Usually, if you start negotiations by being cooperative, the other party will do the same. Some opponents will see your good manners as a weakness, and will try to bully you. If that happens, respond in a way that they don't expect. Slow down the negotiations.
In face-to-face negotiations, Cohen says that if they threaten you, smile and nod your head up and down as if you're acknowledging a compliment. He believes that the most difficult people to negotiate with are irrational people, and people who are not very bright. If somebody is rude to you during negotiations, respond by being one of these "difficult" types of people. Say to yourself, "This is a game - it's showtime."
Again, Cohen believes that style beats substance. Develop a negotiating style, and you'll make better deals.

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