Before entering into a negotiation, you likely have spent time covering all of the keys to its potential success. But, there may be one factor that you’ve overlooked. Many reps fail to consider “commitment” when starting negotiations, and this can be detrimental to their dealing. According to The Accidental Negotiator blogger Dr. Jim Anderson, there are actually four types of commitment that you must bring to each negotiation. Each type, and how much of each you bring, can sway the results in your favor and help you secure the deal that you want. Two of Anderson's types are discussed below.
For example, you must bring commitment to your company. No matter how good of a “poker face” you have, your true feelings will likely come to light. Plain and simple, as stated by Anderson: “When you walk into your next negotiation you have to believe in the company that you are working for.” You must truly believe in what you are selling to be successful, so a firm commitment to your own business is essential.
You must also have commitment to yourself. As cliche as it sounds, you must believe in yourself. Why? Because during negotiations, as Anderson points out, no one else has to. Arm yourself with the confidence needed to inspire others’ belief in you. “If prior to a negotiation starting you make a commitment to yourself to reach a deal with the other side, then no matter what happens during the negotiations you probably will reach a deal with them,” he explains. Treat yourself as a valuable party in the negotiation (because you are!) and commit wholly to your role.
Commitment is a unique tool for negotiators because it comes in four varieties. “We need to be able to recognize the different forms of commitment that may be at play in a negotiation and then we need to use them to get the kind of deal that we are looking for,” he writes.