All of us are trying to be a killer negotiator every day. Whether it is talking your way into a million dollar deal or negotiating permission from your parents for a night out, a killer negotiator gets his way.
Your doors will keep opening if you have the ability to convince people. This series of posts is targeted at the techniques of being that killer negotiator. Over the last few posts, we have discussed how to master the basic rules of negotiation, knowing that everybody is a good guy, breaking the self-serving bias, saying less and listen more, and using the Benjamin Franklin effect and Foot in the Door technique to your advantage during negotiation. I have also discussed the reasons behind a NO and how to change that into a YES.
As a killer negotiator, you just bypassed the rat race, and that’s not all. People remember you. When you create your space in people’s minds, you touch their lives. Let me now introduce the next hack in the series – how to put your idea across to an audience and make them listen to it.
Make your presentation bold and distinct
Even in the most professional environment, people are primarily moved by emotions. You need to move people. Remember the concept of Divergence?
Bold and interesting statements make you prominent and draw attention.
Remember that one teacher in school who used to make you want to fall asleep in class as opposed to the one who kept you glued to his / her voice and presence? What do you think was the difference between the two?
Knowledge? Competence? Wrong!
A killer negotiator or a public speaker knows that if you want an attentive audience, you will have to slip in ideas which will keep them glued to your voice. Give your audience thoughts to feed upon at regular intervals and they will listen to you!
You do not need to be a people pleaser to get attention. In fact, the most effective statements are those who differ from the concepts of the people around you. They do not have to believe in those statements when they hear it.
But yes, you need to believe what you are saying.
Here is an example from a holy man:
“Do you need to mug up all scriptures and Holy textbooks to be a saint?
Maybe it’s time we stopped teaching faith and start learning it. Every person who is above you in age or rank or social stature is trying to teach you what has not worked in their lives. Why do we love teaching others those things which we could not learn in own lives?
Look at a child. The kid is happy, happy with simple things. You give him an ant, and he will make a whole universe out of it and feel happy. We have given you a whole universe, yet you are making nothing out of it. People roam around in gloomy faces. Yet we try to transform that child into us. Who should be the teacher here? The one who is happy or the one who is not? The child or the adult?
When you meet a child, it isn’t time to teach. It is now time to learn!”
Whether you believe him or not is not important here. If you think like a killer negotiator, if you judge purely from the eyes of a person who is trying to persuade, you can see:
- He made several bold statements in that short extract.
- They were all held up later by strong arguments.
The listener may be taken aback by the concepts at first, but has to agree to it eventually when he listens to the rest of the explanation. The killer negotiator has to open with confident, bold statements, keeping the audience glued, and then back it up by sound arguments. He needs to believe those statements and should be ready to support them against counter arguments if necessary.
Examples from real life
While speaking to an audience on a podium, most speakers would open with something like:
“Thank you for the kind introduction. I have always wanted to speak.”
That is what everyone expects, and that’s why you should not start like that! Consider these opening lines:
“Look at the person on your left and now the person on your right. One of the three of you is going to disagree with me tonight, while the other two will agree. My aim is to get all three of you in agreement.”
Or a question:
“Can you remember the most embarrassing thing ever happened to you?”
It is beneficial to place bold and interesting concepts at the start. People will listen to you when you tell them something they did not expect to hear. And this works like a charm in negotiation. If you sell people on what they already know, you are in for a lot of competition. Make people believe in your individuality rather than your similarity with the rest, and you can sell them anything! They will buy if you are trustworthy. Think of these opening lines:
“The car I am about to show you has a latest passive entry system, with a sliding sunroof, which you can control remotely. The features are unheard of!”
“This proposal is a result of two years of effort and has already started turning heads in the industry. Pay close attention to what I am about to say to you.”
Be trustworthy, well-founded, and confident. Do not fight the shadows. Professionals usually like independent thinkers as long as they are confident and can back up what they are saying. But they can call your bluff just as fast.
If you say: “I can prove that the Sun goes around the Earth” just to sound bold, but then fall flat when it is time to prove it, you cannot expect much interest from your audience in the long run. Your statements will then become cheap gimmicks.
Remember, you are not trying to fool anyone with cheap publicity stunts. Being a killer negotiator means that you have a firm and confident idea and the intention to create a Win-Win for both of you.
Which sales tagline appeals more to you?
“I have a smart watch with a remote operated 13 MP camera.”
“Look at your watches. What would you say if I said that I could turn it into a 13MP camera which you can activate remotely with your smartphone?”
The idea is interesting and bold, and you have the interest of the room instantly. Provided that you are able to back up your statements, you will sell your watch!
- Make sure your pitch for whatever you are negotiating on contains certain aspects that the person on the other side did not think about.
- You need to put this across boldly and briskly.
- The idea needs to be supported by well-formed logic, and you should be able to convince people of it.
- In addition to above, try answering the questions:
- How can I find a solution for them which will be even better than they expect?’
- My logic seems great, but how do I put it across in a way that will make them glued.
- How can I do better than showing pie charts and graphs? How can I put across the same thing in various ways?