The Strategy Room

Experience Share:.. Negotiating & Influence #1

We recently negotiated a contract extension on an already successful engagement. The extension involved an innovative structure with multiple phases and incentives around revenue growth. Frustration was experienced on both sides and we could sense that something just wasn’t clicking, noting that this structure was new territory for our client. Both parties were thinking “What are they not seeing?” It was getting frought, tense and a little uncomfortable. We decided to explain scenarios via working spreadsheets to illustrate various scenarios from both sides. Bingo!

While the win-win result was never in doubt, what was reinforced to me was …
1. Understand as best you can, each other’s position.
2. Be as innovative as you need to be to best influence the outcome of any interaction.
3. Be patient, positive and polite, even when the other side may not be.

A key win is to develop our understanding of the other party as early as possible and throughout the influence process. Do they prefer in-person, phone, email, text or whatever communication? Formal or informal, e.g. in a golf cart. Ask them. Do they like to talk first about the deal points or having them respond to written communication? Are they better in the morning, afternoon or evening. Weekday or weekend. What is their personality type? Build your profile to influence them to a win-win.


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

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