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Negotiating the Win-Win

Smart dealmakers know it pays to meet opponents halfway.

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Negotiation doesn't have to be stressful. I'm not saying that you'll eliminate the uncertainty, the decision-making or the possibility of leaving some money on the table, but you can make the process less stressful if you have the right attitude.

The better way, of course, is win-win negotiation, where both parties recognize that the value side of the equation is not finite. If you can focus on building the value of the deal, both buyer and seller generally win. Win-win negotiation is at the heart of the Creative Selling System because it focuses on need satisfaction.

It's an attitude thing. Win-win negotiators may start from completely polar positions, but they're going to meet somewhere in the middle, not drag each other from one side to the other.

This type of mutual conflict resolution builds trust, which opens the doors to better communication of needs. Creative sellers practice win-win negotiations to get the information they must have to meet prospects' needs.

The lack of conflict builds efficiency into the buying/selling process. I remember once trying to negotiate a TV advertising schedule with an advertising agency that practiced win-lose negotiation. If they had approached the situation with a win-win attitude, we could have struck a deal within minutes. But because they were intent on squeezing the dollar until Washington screamed, the negotiations went on for two weeks. They still didn't get a better deal, but they wasted a huge amount of their time (and mine).

Excerpted from Creative Selling: Boost your B2B sales

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