The Second 7 of the Luckiest 13 Communication Tips in Negotiation

Communication is the stage upon which the negotiation drama is played out. Listening and speaking are the literal nuts and bolts of communication but they are accompanied by the more mysterious figurative elements of body language and an open mind. Mastery of both the figurative and the literal is essential to negotiate effectively. The open mind brings a bonanza of techniques that are beyond the reach of our closed minded brethren.

Communication is the stage upon which the negotiation drama is played out. Listening and speaking are the literal nuts and bolts of communication. Here are the second seven tips of how to communicate better in negotiation.

7—–Reflective response

This technique recognizes that two or more people can hear the same words and come to different conclusion as to what was said. If you don’t think it is possible for two people to hear the same words, know the individual meanings of the words, yet come to vastly different conclusions, consult someone who is married for a second opinion.

Not only do individual words have different meanings but usage varies, some people speak poorly and our own prejudices get in the way on clear communications. If someone says OJ, your response would include the words orange juice. If they meant O J Simpson, your reflective response would clear that up before you got any further down field. The use of the reflective response in tandem with the ‘I’ statement are some of the most plentiful and powerful negotiation techniques you will deploy.

We can sometimes be confused by the tone of voice or individual delivery styles. For this reason, it is advisable to question the speaker about intent rather than impart our own meaning. For instance, suppose someone says, “Well that’s just great.” The meaning could be literal or it could be the sarcastic opposite. The tone may be used by the speaker to indicate frustration, disgust, anger, pride, or other conclusions. Such statements call for open ended questions on the part of the listener. Fortunately, the spoken words of our verbal language leave clues of the speaker’s meaning independent of the tone.

Verbal clues come unexpectedly. Let’s take them on in the same staccato style in which we are likely to encounter them. Keep your ears attuned to these words when they pop up in negotiations because they usually signal important meanings or information that is worth pursuing.


The ‘but’ word is a verbal eraser of everything that comes before it. How many times have you heard interlopers jump in with the prefaced excuse, “I am no expert on that, but“…What is the next sentence out of that person’s mouth likely to proclaim to the world? He is ready to demonstrate what an expert he really is, irrespective of qualifications. As my father loved to say, “Why ruin a good argument with facts?”

The use of ‘but’ may also send the other side scurrying for weapons to counter attack this new revelation. We can clean up our act by substituting ‘and’ instead of ‘but’. “I am no expert in negotiation and here I am negotiating with you, so please help me out.” Instead of connoting challenge or flattery with the ‘but’ word, we have ratcheted down the conflict level.

9—–”I’m sorry’

Be on alert for these words of apology. Why would anyone apologize in advance for what they are about to say? The effect of the phrase ‘I’m sorry’ is to erase all the words that trivialize the words that come after it. It trivializes the content to the extent that it may be ignored. If the sales person says, “I’m sorry. Our policy won’t permit returns,” she has expressed half hearted agreement with the policy, connoted an air of weakness and invited further investigation. Reserve the words ‘I’m sorry’ for mistakes.

10—–Changes in speech patterns

Train your ears to perk up when someone speeds up, slows down, repeats, answers a question other than what was asked, or otherwise changes their pattern of speech. These departures from the usual betray a loss of poise that bears exploration.

When a speaker speeds up, they may be unconsciously trying to get past the trouble spot. If they whistle past the graveyard, maybe you won’t notice they are afraid.

Sunday morning TV news shows serve up a bonanza of suspicious speech patterns. Every politician worth the office knows the value of answering whatever they want to say, no matter the question. It is a way to get the message out, stay consistent, and avoid off script traps. Unless you are negotiating for public office, this circuitous route may not be the best. When faced with the politician negotiator, ask the same question in different words to eliminate any honest misunderstanding. Suppose, for instance, that you ask your spouse, What time is dinner?” In response, you hear, “Well, I put the roast in at four thirty.” This is an honest misunderstanding caused by answering a question other than what was asked.

Ask close ended questions to improve precision. Perhaps insert the ‘and’ instead of ‘but’ word to clarify, and include the reflective response too such as in this sentence. “And you expect that roast will be ready at about what time?” You have narrowed the funnel quite a bit without creating any undue friction. As a last resort, explain your frustration and ask for help. If you receive none, your suspicions are confirmed. Often times, depending on the individual’s personality, a seller may not want to answer a question head on for fear of offending someone, betraying a confidence, or general insecurity.

11—–Announcer statements

Announcer statements encompass a variety of prefatory remarks intended to condition the other side for desired effect. Off the cuff terminology comparable to “By the way”, or “As you know” sometimes inadvertently introduce important or decoy information.

The preface, “To be honest with you,” merits particular attention. On its face, the phrase is ridiculous. Is the speaker confessing dishonesty up to this point? That is probably not the intention, but it may be the message received. It should alert the listener that significant information probably follows.

The use of repetition is another announcer alarm tone. Politicians repeat for emphasis, or maybe because they expect people not to listen so they won’t notice the repetition. Constant repetition, however, may be an indication of importance of the repeated point. It might simply be a flaw in negotiation skills. In any event, it bears clarification.

12—–Avoid pronouns

Is anything more prone to confusion than the overuse of pronouns? They (referring to pronouns) are just too non specific. The pronouns ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ are tough enough, but ‘it’ comes in for special scrutiny. A description that goes on for more than three sentences needs to reconfirm the identity of nouns being supplanted by pronouns. Any more than one male in a story and the use of ‘he’ becomes troublesome. Given that ‘it’ covers almost all creation, the pronoun problem (it, meaning the pronoun problem) cannot be overstated.

At home, I live with a wife, two daughters and a cat, all female. With my back to the crowd, I will hear, “did you see how she did to her?” Huh? Unless the house is on fire, I tune out all the static noise rather than try to unravel the pronoun references.

13—–Distinguish observation from conclusion

This fault of logic must be one of the most common problems for familiar parties. If someone offers an observation, do not impute your own conclusion. It may not coincide with theirs. If the seller says, “We cannot sell at that price,” that is merely an observation. To furnish our own conclusion would be erroneous. We cannot summarily conclude that the price is too low. It could mean their costs are too high, or that they have some other controlling factor that is not divulged. Clarify the conclusion by asking straight away about what conclusion to draw. If the person is challenged by direct questions, employ the reflective response and rephrase the observation. Then, with the ‘I’ statement, ask about the conclusion. The talk might be like this. “So, if I understand the statement, that price is not available. Is that right so far?” If you hear a no, investigate with open end questions. If the answer is yes, the test for conclusion might be, “So that I am clear, is the conclusion that the price is too low for to cover the costs?”

Bear in Mind 2 Things When Buying Presents for Mum!

Memorable ideas concerning presents for Mum boils down to what Mum needs, and what Mum wants. Mothers are one of the most influential people in anyone’s life, they struggled and endured to carry us to term, gritted their teeth while we took our time emerging from thy womb, and put up with all our shenanigans while raising us. They gave us the gift of life, so the least we could do is give a present which they can cherish for a good long while.

If you’re struggling to find suitable presents, read on to learn two basic paths you may take to effortlessly make Mum smile during her special day.

What Mum Wants!

Giving presents for Mum which she wants will appeal to her emotions. She may have mentioned in passing about a dress she had her eye on in a shopping mall, or a pair of finely crafted earrings which tickled her fancy. Purchasing something which she craves lets her know how much you pay attention to her. She will appreciate the fact that you didn’t simply snatch something out of the discount bin. You made careful note of what she wanted, then you took the time to go out, search for it, and buy that one specific object.

Your Mum deserves what she wants, for she always did her best to give you what you needed, wanted, or deserved. Splurging will probably be the order of the day, but when you see your mother smile upon opening her gift, it will have all been worth it.

What Mum Needs!

Gifting some presents for Mum which she needs will satisfy her ever-present sense of practicality. Mothers, by nature, sweep aside almost anything which does not meet their requirements for fulfilling life’s needs. They are ingrained with the mindset that basic needs must be met at all costs. You’ve witnessed it all your life, now you can continue the tradition by having her own something new, knowing it will be used on a nearly daily basis. A rechargeable sonic toothbrush comes to mind, to ease the stress of dental visits.

To ensure you give something she requires, maybe you could simply ask Mum what is it which she is in need of. Does she need a new pair of prescription reading glasses? Will she be better off with a simple phone which has an easy to operate numerical keypad? How about a set of woolen shawls to ward off many a cold night?

If you plan carefully, you may be able to combine the best of both worlds, and acquire that seemingly unobtainable combination of both a want and a need. She could be thrilled with new, technologically advanced kitchen appliances (nothing like a home-cooked meal with Mom at the helm, right?), or a gift card to her favorite store (she wants something, and you’ve given her the means to obtain it).

Presents for Mum align either towards what she wants, or what she needs, perhaps a little bit of both should you be fortunate enough to combine the two. Though knowing the adoring nature of such beloved people, you present can be anything, as long as it’s given from the heart.

How to Present Successfully – 2nd Part

In my previous article about presenting, I was talking about how we can’t all be at our best every day or every hour.

But if you get your best possible presentation down on paper and then firmly entrench it in the back of your head, you’ll be certain to make a better average presentation than you ever have before. It will also give you confidence during off days.

Now, knowing what you do about your own proposition, if you were in your prospect’s shoes you’d want it, wouldn’t you? Well then your task is simple; you have only to make your prospect feel the same way about it that you do yourself and the order is yours.

And how are you going to do this?

By conveying to your prospect the very things that have made you feel the way you do. You can hardly expect the prospect to view matters the way you do in the first place. If they did, their orders would be coming in through the Internet or the mail.
That’s what you are there for – to make them feel the way you do and arouse their desire.

Fear – Haste – Uncertainty

* Fear is a dangerous four-letter word – an emotional response to impending or imagined danger that is tied to anxiety. They’re all enemies of the successful presentation. Why should you fear? The worst that can happen to you is not to get the order. And you can’t lose anything that you haven’t got.

* Haste, why should you hurry?
You must make your listener understand in order to get the order. You certainly can’t make them understand by rattling off your presentation as if you were paid by the number of words you got out per minute. Listen and record yourself sometime. Are you interesting to listen to? Are you clear and with a voice of different tones?

* Uncertainty?
You can’t be uncertain. You know too much of the merit of what you’re selling to waver one second from the absolute knowledge that you are there to benefit the person you’re talking to.

You’re too strong to let fear, haste, or uncertainty wrecks your plans. Leave them to the weaker ones.

I’ve seen lots of salespeople who the minute they encounter opposition put themselves on the defensive, and take the attitude of trying to prove that they are not liars. They’re predestined to failure. You are the captain of your presentation.

You know what you are going to say. You know how you are going to say it. You know that what you are going to say and the way you say it are going to direct your prospect’s mind to the final point of desire for what you sell.

So let your facts come as gospel. State them as undeniable, irrefutable truths. Let your deep sincerity and positive statements head off objections and overcome arguments before they are raised. Assume that your listener believes you; give them facts they can believe, and in the majority of cases they will.

Simply make it easier for them to believe than not to.

Avoid the pitfalls of long words and small superfluous arguments. Remember that the salesperson, to be effective, must get it across in the quickest, most convincing sort of way. Long words and so-called “clever talking” defeat their very object; they are offensive instead of impressive. And those little, good-for-nothing arguments don’t get the orders. Stick to the big points of your proposition: the points that count – the tried and true order-getters. You know them. Use them.

Whenever you open your mouth to make a presentation forget that you ever made one before, or that you’re ever going to make one again. There is just one person in the world to be sold, and that is the person you are talking to. You can’t sell that person by thinking of the person you sold yesterday or the one you are going to sell this afternoon. The person is before you; concentrate on that one.

Remember, no matter how old your arguments are to you, they ring fresh in that person’s ears. And the same points that sold your proposition last year and the same ones that will sell it next year will sell it this very minute to the person you’re talking to.

Leave no possible questions unanswered in your prospect’s mind. Some people have a tendency verbally to say, “Yes,” without really being convinced, just to be agreeable or avoid argument. Instead of trying to get a mere verbal assent, bend your endeavors toward making a prospect’s mind completely and absolutely convinced of the truth of what you are saying.

In this way, step-by-step, as you go through your presentation you will gain a general approval on every point you make. Then – when you return to the net result of getting the order – your prospect cannot raise a point, and go back and disagree with you.