Transcend the Details: Getting Past the Little Things to Get
What You Want
By Marc Freeman
transaction has a myriad of details that are part of the deal. Many
times people seem to get bogged down in small details or get
derailed by sensitive issues and this stalls the process. Each and
every detail will have to be addressed, but you will be surprised at
how far you can get by keeping your goal in mind and not getting
bogged down by those details.
the process, some things that were once considered important will
become irrelevant; and others that weren’t an issue suddenly become
a deal breaker. This is normal and does not have to mean the end of
any negotiation. It just means that you need to change your tactics
so that each party walks away from the negotiation table happy with
six tips that will help speed up the process of any negotiation by
transcending the details.
Create a List: Every project or transaction has a beginning,
middle and end. It is important to layout all the details that need
to be checked off in order to finish. Write a list of everything
you could hope to get out of the deal. During this step, you don’t
necessarily need to be practical. Things that may seem far-fetched
to you might be run of the mill for the other side. Then make a list
of everything you absolutely must have in order to reach your goal.
In other words your deal breakers.
into any negotiation without these lists is like going to an exam
without studying. You will be unprepared and won’t be able to
accomplish everything you need to do to be successful. Having a
list gives you a path to follow so you don’t forget anything.
Rate your list: Give your list a rating system based on
importance and simplicity to get through each detail. By
identifying your main goals, you will have a clear understanding of
what needs to be accomplished. Realize that you might have to
concede on some points in order to gain others. You can even make a
big deal about some irrelevant point that seems to be important to
the other party but not important to you and then concede. This
will give the other party the idea that you are being more than
flexible, thereby requesting the same from them. If you don’t rank
your list, you won’t know which details can be sacrificed to achieve
the more important goals.
mind that the importance of each item on the list will change as the
negotiations progress. Be sure to listen to the other party so you
know what their concerns and details are. As they outline theirs,
it might make some of yours irrelevant. You need to be prepared to
reassess your ratings as you go.
Start small: Don’t jump into the negotiations with the biggest
item on your list. You will only end up overwhelming the other side
and will actually decrease the likelihood of getting what you want.
The idea is not to strain. Start with a few of the easy things on
your list. This is a great way to break the ice and create a common
ground for moving forward. As you reach agreement on smaller issues,
each subsequent discussion will go a little easier.
Know when to bring up the big issues: Don’t overwhelm the other
parties with a list of a million small details. Save some of them
for the end of the negotiations. Since you have already dealt with
several simpler details smoothly, you can now work together to deal
with these more critical details. This is when you should begin to
address your most important issue. If you do too many small issues
first, by the time you get to the larger, more important items on
your list, the other party will feel like they have already given
too much and will be much less likely to want to help you achieve
your large goals.
Don’t just focus on yourself: As you work through the process,
you will need to continually listen to the other side. This will
provide an opportunity for you to find out what their big issues
are. If you don’t pinpoint and address their main goals, you will
constantly run into roadblocks when trying to accomplish your own
list of goals.
creating an environment of give and take, each side will be much
more willing to listen to the others goals and needs. You want to
be sure to address their main issue, and once this is cleared up for
them, the rest of the negotiation will proceed much more smoothly.
You never know, their big issue may be very easy for you to
accommodate and thus make them much easier to deal with.
Come back to some of the smaller issues: After you wrap up some
of the larger issues, you can go back to the smaller, unresolved
issues on your list. After reaching an agreement on each party’s
main goal, the smaller objectives won’t present a problem to reach
an agreement. Many times, they are so invested that they will be
willing to concede the smaller issues just to wrap up the deal.
forget to constantly reassess your list as you progress through the
negotiation. Each agreement you reach will have an affect on the
remaining items on your list. It may even make some irrelevant.
Stay focused on the bigger picture. Walking into any negotiation
with a clear plan and a flexible mindset will prevent both parties
from getting bogged down by smaller details. Transcending the
details can be a great way to form the partnership that you
envisioned when you first started the negotiation process.
let the details hold you back!
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