By Kevin Kruse
What are the three keys to negotiating success?
If you’ve ever been in a position to negotiate, you know how nerve-wracking it can be. You use the latest body language tricks, eye contact, and careful word choice, which leave you feeling not like yourself. Is there a way to negotiate from a place of authenticity?
Corey Kupfer is a dealmaker, and business consultant with over 30 years of negotiating experience, as well as the author of Authentic Negotiating, Clarity, Detachment, and Equilibrium – 3 Keys to True Negotiating Success and How to Achieve Them. I recently interviewed Corey for the LEADx podcast to learn more about his steps to achieving a successful negotiation. (The interview below has been lightly edited for space and clarity.)
Kevin Kruse: How is authentic negotiating different from traditional negotiating?
Corey Kupfer: If you read most negotiating books, or the trainings, or the resources or articles out there, most of them focus on tips, tactics, techniques, counter-tactics. When they do this then you do this. There’s always counter-tactics. There’s a counter-counter-tactic for counter-tactics, that’s the focus of a lot of them. And some of them, frankly, are highly manipulative and really bad. Just not ethical and not effective. And frankly, some of the tips at that level are good. They’re useful, but they’re not the key to true negotiating success. What 30 years of experience has told me is that there’s a deeper body of work and a deeper body of conversation that you have to have. The great negotiators do that deeper work, it’s not just about the tips and tactics.
Kruse: You say “clarity,”detachment,” and “equilibrium” are the three keys. Tell me more.
Kupfer: Absolutely. So first of all it’s “CDE” so it goes in order, it’s easy to remember. Let’s start with clarity, the C. The first thing is, I’m amazed. I do negotiations from small negotiations up to multi-million dollar deals, and I work with multi-billion dollar teams, so it’s a whole range. Even sophisticated people often go into multi-million dollar negotiations without the level of clarity that they should, and certainly without the level of clarity that I work with them on.
So, what does it take to get clarity? One, there’s the external research and preparation. Which frankly, some people even skip on that, but it’s the industry research–researching the people on the other side of the table, the company, trying to figure out their objectives–all that stuff. But the part that people really skimp on is the internal preparation work, which means that are you 100% clear on every single material term of the deal, and what’s acceptable to you and what’s not, and how they interrelate to each other. People usually don’t do that work. I’ll give you a quick example:
Let’s say somebody says to me they’re selling their company. I say, “OK, what do you want to get for the company?”
“Well I’d love to get 12 million dollars for the company.”
“Okay, what will you take?”
“11 million will be fine.”
“What’s your bottom line?”
“10 million dollars. That’s the least I’ll take.”
By the way, you can apply this if you’re negotiating salary at a job or any other scenario. In that example I’ll say to them, “Okay, so 10 million is your bottom line.”
“Yeah, that’s my bottom line.”
Okay, so let’s assume we get a deal that meets every other one of your criteria. But the money, instead of 10 million dollars, is $9,999,999.99. And usually the client’s first reaction is, “Come on Corey, that’s kind of ridiculous. It’s just a penny less.”
Well what about a penny less than that, and a penny less than that, and a penny less than that? It’s not a penny less, or not a penny more, or not a day more.
Read the full article here.
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