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Masterful and Stealthy Negotiation
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 heave back.
But don't stop there. Push harder, even harder.
Observe how she returns exactly the same force (maybe
she'll even throw in a slap if you push at the wrong
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 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
tempers 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
contrary 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 desires to be proven wrong!
Fortunately, there is a powerful technique that savvy
negotiators 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 to 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
Let's see how this technique allows you to defuse any
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 warranties. They
keep coming back, as I'm confident you will.
Buyer: We've heard disturbing rumors that your
company cannot deliver supplies 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 materials 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 counterpoints. He'll never
know what him as he signs your contract!
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