Neverland – lessons from Peter Pan
Peter promised to take Wendy and her brothers to Neverland where they would experience many adventures and never grow up. What doesn’t grow old in successful negotiations is a list of ‘nevers’ for your consideration:
- Never ask if it is negotiable. Always make the assumption that everything is negotiable. If someone asks you if your price is ‘negotiable’, ask them to explain. Odds are they do not mean the give and take of negotiations, they just mean ‘will you lower your price, in return for nothing – which is not the same as negotiations.
- Never relax at the end of a negotiation. This may be the most dangerous period, just when you think it is over they begin to hit you with minor requests. It ain’t when the fat lady begins to sing but when she hits her final note.
- Never ask a question if you don’t want to hear the answer. “Do I look that stupid?”
- Never give up…anything…without getting something in return. It may not have had value to you, but if TOS (the other side) wants it, the value has increased. At the very least, get an I.O.U.
- Never be a know-it-all. There is always room for improvement, more knowledge and skills to attain – develop your own negotiation check list and make constant improvements.
- Never say you are at your bottom line, best you can do or final offer – unless it is.
- Never accept no as an answer. What part of ‘no’ do kids not understand? It’s the ‘no’ part, right? This is when they really start to negotiate, they will not stop, they make Arnie in “The Terminator” look like a give in ‘wussie’.
- Never follow the Golden Rule. It’s a good rule, don’t get me wrong, taught in every major religion I know: Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Jewish and Native North American. However, “Do until others as you would have them do unto you”(the ethic of reciprocity) for a different culture, sex, and people with a different background and upbringing is not the same.They DO NOT want or value the same as you. They are not better. They are not worse. They are different.You will want to speak the same language whether it is English, French, Hindi or metaphors. Most men will relate to a sports metaphor – for women…it’s a different ball game. 🙂
- Never take it personally. Even a hit man for a crime syndicate says that, though I’m not sure it makes a victim feel any better.Some folks can get under your skin and throw you off your game. Be careful in the other direction too! A chapter in my first book was “Collecting from relatives and former friends!”
- Never negotiate – if you don’t have to. There is give and take on both sides for negotiations, “I give a little, you give a little” – we both win. Persuasion is much better. It is cheaper and faster if I can convince you without giving up anything.Everyone can benefit from being a better negotiator, but first – get very good at persuading. The only reason to negotiate is if persuasion will not work.