The Accidental Negotiator

The Accidental Negotiator

By Jim Anderson
Professional negotiating is not just a business, it’s a science. Nobody knows more about the science of negotiating than Dr. Jim Anderson.

“I don’t embrace excuses for why your last negotiation was not successful, I embrace solutions.”

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Anderson has transformed failing negotiators worldwide.

Dr. Jim Anderson has spent 25 years negotiating everything from small sales with individual owners of companies to large scale military project contracts with teams of sales negotiators.

Welcome to the premier podcast for learning how to make sales negotiations effective!
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Negotiators Need To Fall In Love With The Number 3
We are all human.  What this means is that for some odd and unexplained  reason no mater which negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we  are using, we all seem to like things that come in threes.  In our world it seems as though all good things come in groups of  three. Think about it, your childhood was filled with three bears, three  kings, three little pigs, etc.  It turns out that for negotiators,  things that come in groups of three can be rewarding as well.
January 17, 2020
How To Avoid Reaching An Impasse During A Negotiation
The reason that we enter into a negotiation is because we want to be  able to use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to reach a  deal with the other side.  The challenge that we have is that what we  want and what they want may be two very different things. The whole  purpose of a negotiation is for us to find a way to build bridges  between our two opposing camps and find some common ground that both of  us can live with. The one thing that we don’t want to have happen is for  us to run into an impasse – that would be a negotiation failure.  What can we do to make sure that this does not happen?
January 10, 2020
Does It Pay To Get Angry During A Negotiation?
I can only speak for myself, but I have no problem sharing with you that  during a negotiation I can become very, very frustrated with how things  are going.  No matter if your negotiation styles and negotiating  techniques are causing things to go too slow, go off in the wrong  direction, or, even worse, not go anywhere. I start to become angrier and angrier as time passes. This, of course, leads to a fairly classic negotiating question.  When you become angry during a negotiation, should you hide your emotions or should you show them to the other side?
December 20, 2019
Three Reasons Why Your Next Negotiation Could Fail
Not every negotiation that we are involved in will work out for us.  In  fact, some of them will fail. When we think of failed negotiations,  generally we picture negotiators walking away from the table in  disappointment. It turns out that that’s only one type of disappointing  negotiation. It turns out that there is another type of failure when it comes to negotiating.  A negotiation can be considered to be a failure when both sides come to  regret the deal over time as well as those deals that fall apart during  implementation.  As negotiators, we need to learn how to avoid creating  deals that will become failures.
December 13, 2019
Dealing With Deadlocks: How To Get Around An Impasse
It eventually happens to all of us: you are in the middle of negotiation when you realized that things have become deadlocked.   There are a lot of different ways that you may have found yourself in  this situation such as after both sides have used their negotiation  styles and negotiating techniques to exchange a series of offers and  counteroffers. With each of you stuck in your very different positions, you can’t seem to find a solution that pleases you both.  What’s a negotiator to do now?
December 6, 2019
Is “Lose-Lose” The Right Way To Conduct A Negotiation?
When we negotiate, it’s all about winning.  Our goal is  to use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to create a  deal that the other side will agree with and which is a win for us. We can define a “win” in a lot of different ways:  a lower price, a higher price, more time to deliver, delivery sooner  then expected, etc. However, somewhat surprisingly, not all negotiations  work out this way.  Sometimes lose-lose is the way that you want to go.
November 22, 2019
Sales Negotiation Techniques That Work
When you are negotiating a sale, you’d like to be able to use your  negotiation styles and negotiating techniques get the other side to agree to the offer that you are making to them.   There are a number of different ways to make this happen. In sales  negotiations, making the first offer is often a smart move. The reason  that this is a good idea is because the first offer can anchor the  discussion that follows and can have a powerful effect on the final  outcome. However, if the other side moves faster than you and they make  the first offer, you’ll need to be prepared to frame your counteroffer carefully.  You are going to need some sales negotiation techniques to get what you want.
November 15, 2019
How To Close A Deal When You Are Negotiating
The reason that we are willing to invest the time in a negotiation is  because we believe that by using our negotiation styles and negotiating  techniques we’ll be able to eventually reach a deal with the other side.   However, in order to make that happen, at some point in time the negotiations have to come to an end. We need to close them down. In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross Alec Baldwin’s character tells his employees “ABC: Always Be Closing”.  This is not a good idea – it’s a bit cutthroat and it means that you  have to ignore the other side’s needs.  What’s the right way to wrap up a  negotiation?
November 8, 2019
How To Negotiate A Mutually Beneficial Agreement
We’ve all heard about mutually beneficial agreements, but can anyone say just exactly what they are?  By one definition, a mutually beneficial agreement occurs when both sides of the table attempt to use their negotiation  styles and negotiating techniques to grab as much as they possibly can  from the limited amount of items that are being negotiated. I think that  a much better definition has to do with taking the time to create more value during a negotiation and then making sure that everyone is taken care of in the final deal.   Great words, but just exactly how does one go about doing this?
November 1, 2019
What Can The NYPD Crisis Negotiations Team Teach Us About Negotiating?
In the world of negotiating, we all run into negotiating situations that can be stressful.   The other side gets upset with us for some reason, they rant and rave  and make a wide variety of threats, we try to keep things moving forward  and ultimately if we are lucky we are able to reach a deal with them.  Just imagine how hard it would be to be a member of the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team. Every negotiation that they go into is going to be stressful.  How the heck do they deal with negotiations like that?
October 25, 2019
How Good Of A Negotiator Is President Donald Trump?
So first off let’s all agree on something: I don’t really care if you love or hate President Donald Trump.  That’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, considering that he’s in a very powerful position in which he gets to talk to world leaders on a daily basis,  I’m interested in how good of a negotiator he is. He did write /  co-author a book on negotiating and so you’d think that he’d be pretty  good at this stuff.  Let’s take a look and see what techniques he has  been using as a part of his presidency so far.
October 21, 2019
How To Get Yourself Out Of A Bad Deal
You might think that every principled negotiation starts out the same  way: with a blank sheet of paper.  However, in a number of situations  that I’ve found myself in this is not the case. Instead, what has  happened is that for whatever reason because of the negotiation styles  and negotiating techniques being used, my client allowed themselves to get sucked into signing a bad deal.  Now they find themselves living with a deal that is not in their best  interests and they want to have it changed. Enter the (re) negotiator.   What’s the best way to turn a bad deal into a better deal?
October 11, 2019
How Negotiators Can Deal With “The Winner’s Curse”
What would the perfect negotiation look like to you?  Would it happen if  you sat down at the negotiating table, presented the other side with an  offer without using any of your negotiation styles or negotiating  techniques, they accepted it and everything was over and done?  Immediately sensing that you asked for too little, you would probably feel as though you had screwed up. In a negotiation, we’re often excited to close a deal. But at times, the fact that we’ve “won” a prize means that we’ve become the latest victim of the “winner’s curse”.  The good news for you is that there are steps you can take to avoid the winner’s curse in negotiations.
October 4, 2019
What Is The Best Way To Use A BATNA During A Negotiation?
If we want to become better negotiators, how can we go about doing this?   It turns out that the best bargaining tips should offer ways to enhance  your bargaining power in negotiation no matter what negotiation styles  or negotiating techniques are being used. If we want to make this  happen, then we must cultivate a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. As you can well imagine, the more appealing your best alternative is, the more comfortable you will feel asking for more in your current negotiation – you will be secure in the knowledge that you have a good alternative option waiting in the wings.  BATNA development is more complex than just searching for a good Plan  B.  Let’s talk about bargaining tips and strategies for negotiators  seeking to improve their BATNA.
September 27, 2019
How Can You Find A “Win-Win” Solution In Your Next Negotiation?
As negotiators, what we would all like to be able to do during each of our negotiations is to find a way to create a “win-win” situation.   These are the negotiations in which both sides emerge feeling that they  got a good deal in the end no matter what negotiation styles or  negotiating techniques were used. However, finding this kind of solution  to a negotiation can be a real challenge.  What we need are ways to make this happen even in even the trickiest negotiations.
September 20, 2019
How To Create Value While Negotiating
If you sit back and think about it, what are you really trying to  accomplish during a negotiation with all of your fancy negotiation  styles and negotiating techniques?  If you are like most of us, what you  would like to be able to do is to discover additional value that nobody realized was there, perhaps make some useful trades with  the other side, and finally come up with a deal that will exceed both  sides initial expectations.  All of this sounds wonderful; however, how  can a negotiator actually make this happen?
September 13, 2019
Is “Emotional Intelligence” An Important Negotiating Skill?
One of the more popular phrases that has been used during the past few years has been “emotional intelligence”.   This term first burst into the cultural imagination in 1995 with the  publication of psychologist Daniel Goleman’s book. Negotiation experts  have predicted that scoring high on this personality trait would boost one’s negotiating outcomes and have found many successful negotiation examples using emotional intelligence.  Does this mean that during your next negotiation you need to pay more attention to your emotional intelligence?
August 30, 2019
How To Conduct A Successful Distributive Negotiation
Let’s face it: there are a lot of different types of negotiations that  we can find ourselves in the middle of any any point in time.  As  negotiators we need to be able to recognize each one of them and then  take the appropriate action in order to maximize the chances of being  able to get the deal that we want. One type of negotiation that we most  often find ourselves involved in is called a distributive negotiation.  Do you know what to do when this happens?
August 23, 2019
Anchoring Your Negotiations Using A Range
One of the most powerful negotiation styles and negotiating techniques  that a negotiator has available to them is what is called “anchoring”. Anchoring occurs when a negotiation is starting and you make an initial offer to the other side.  This offer does not have to be one that you think that they would  actually accept. It can be quite arbitrary. The power of an anchor offer  is that it pulls the discussion in its direction.  How can you use this powerful technique to your best advantage? 
August 16, 2019
The Best Ways To Resolve Conflicts During A Negotiation
Let’s face it: conflict happens in every negotiation.   The very process of negotiating using our negotiation styles and  negotiating techniques with someone seems to open the door to allowing  conflict to come in. How do we deal with conflict when it shows up?  All too often our first response is to try to find a way to correct the  way that the other side is seeing the world. We’ll take the time to  tell them why they are wrong and, of course, why we are right. The  problem with this approach is that it rarely works and will often make  the current situation even worse.  What we need is a different way to  deal with conflict situations. 
August 9, 2019
Getting Better Agreements By Using Design Deals
When you are in the middle of a negotiation, how do decisions get made?  All too often a lot of us end up leaving these types of decisions up to chance  no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we are  using. These decisions can take on a lot of different disguises  including if we are talking with the best person to be doing the  negotiating for the other side, if we’ll negotiate in person, what will  be talked about, how long it will last, etc.  We need to take the time to  ask ourselves about how we want to design the deal that we want to get. 
August 5, 2019
Negotiation Tips For Buying A Car
When we think about negotiating, we tend to think about how to apply our  negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to business situations.   We may be buying or selling supplies, purchasing a location, or trying  to schedule the delivery of a product. However, it turns out that our negotiating skills are also useful for us when we are not at work.  In our personal lives, we encounter a number of different situations  that call for our particular set of skills.  One classic situation,  whether for us or for someone that we know, is the purchase of a new car. 
July 26, 2019
How To Improve Your Reputation As A Negotiator
The next time that you enter into a negotiation, how do you want the other side to view you?   If you are like most of us who have had our impression of what a  world-class negotiator looks like shaped by television and the movies:  when we use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques we want to  come across as being a tough guy, unyielding and bound to get our way  no matter what. However, what researchers have discovered is that  negotiators with a reputation for collaboration rather than competition  tend to do better. You can’t fully control what others think and say  about you, none of us can, but you can find ways to seize opportunities  to appear as cooperative as possible during and after a business  negotiation.  Here’s how to do this. 
July 19, 2019
How To Defend Yourself During A Negotiation
When we picture ourselves in a negotiation, we often see ourselves using  our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to make a point.  Or  perhaps at the board drawing out a scenario. Or maybe even handing  papers to the other side for them to review. What we don’t often see is ourselves on the defensive.  However, if the other side consists of skilled negotiators, there is a  very good chance that at some point in time during the negotiations  we’re going to end up with our backs to the wall.  What we need are some defensive strategies that we can use when this happens to us. 
July 12, 2019
The Problem With Cognitive Bias During A Negotiation
When we enter into a negotiation, we’d like to think that our minds are  clear and that we are gong to be able to think systematically throughout  the negotiations as we use our negotiation styles and negotiating  techniques.  However, all too often it turns out that we are being affected by bias that can change how we think. Most of us believe that we have the ability to determine the difference between a situation in which we can rely on our intuition and those that require us to take a step back and give things some more thought.  However, studies have shown that in most cases we are wrong. 
June 28, 2019
How To Prepare For Your Next Negotiation
The next time that you start a negotiation, what will be running through  your mind?  If you are like most of us, you are excited to get started  and you have a fairly clear idea what negotiation styles and negotiating  techniques you’ll be using to get what you want out of this  negotiation. However, have you really done your homework?   If you want your next negotiation to be successful, then what you do  before the negotiation starts may determine how it turns out. 
June 21, 2019
How To Use Your ZOPA During A Negotiation
When we start a negotiation, we are filled with hope that by using our  negotiation styles and negotiating techniques we’ll be able to  eventually walk away with a deal.  However, during every negotiation we  are faced with two possible mistakes we can make. The  first is that we end up walking away from a deal that we should have  agreed to. The other is that we end up agreeing to a deal that we should  never have agreed to.  How can we avoid making both of these errors? 
June 14, 2019
What To Do When You Are Up Against A Hard Bargainer
So who will you be negotiating with during your next negotiation? Are you going to be dealing with a hard bargainer?   There are some negotiators out there who seem to think that if they  want to get their way in a negotiation then they are going to have to  use hard-bargaining negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to  make it happen. This means that they’ll have no problems resorting to  using extreme demands, unethical behavior and perhaps even threats to  get what they want. These are the very negotiators who don’t realize  that negotiation is not a win-lose activity.  However, since you’ll be  dealing with them, what should you do when they start to apply their  hard bargaining tactics on you?
June 7, 2019
Four Traps You Can Fall Into While Doing Sales Negotiations
When we are engaged in a negotiation, no matter what negotiation styles  or negotiating techniques are being used we can make the mistake of falling into common cognitive traps  if we are not careful.  These traps are sneaky and if we are not on the  lookout for them then they can sneak up on us and they’ll end up holding  us back from accomplishing what we are trying to do in this  negotiation. When we do this, we end up making the negotiation that we  are involved in more difficult than it has to be.  In order to prevent  this from happening, we need to learn how to identify the four different  traps. 
May 24, 2019
Keep Your Negotiation Moving By Making A Token Concession
As negotiators we all understand that one of the most powerful tools that we have are concessions.  However, it’s how we view concessions that really matters. All too often a negotiator can come to view concessions as being a big deal  – they are something that has value to us and making a concession that  really means something is going to end up costing us something in terms  of money, time, or something else. However, this is where we may be  wrong. It turns out that we can often keep a negotiation moving along  simply by making a token concession.  This type of concession costs us  very little, but it can make a big impact on our negotiation. 
May 17, 2019
Collaboration is The Key For A Mutually Beneficial Agreement
So here’s a question for you negotiator: just exactly what is a mutually beneficial agreement?   Sure, we all think that we’d like to be able to use our negotiation  styles and negotiating techniques to reach one of these in our next  negotiation, but would we recognize it if we saw it? One way to define  this is to view a mutually beneficial agreement as being one in which  each side grabs as much as it can from a finite pot of resources.  Hopefully you don’t view it this way. A much better way to view it is as  competitive value-claiming with collaborative value creation.  Now the  big question becomes just exactly how to go about doing this. 
May 10, 2019
What Role Does Trust Play In A Negotiation?
If there is one thing that all negotiators know and understand is that in order to be able to reach a deal with the other side, you first have to be able to trust them.  We also understand that during the course of a negotiation, trust is something that may develop naturally over time. However, sometimes we can’t wait that long.  If we don’t trust the other side, we can still make safe deals with  them. These types of deals will involve using our negotiation styles and  negotiating techniques to make few concessions, few tradeoffs, and we  won’t share very much information with the other side. However, deals  like this may mean that we are missing out on big opportunities.  What we need to do is to find way to build trust on the fly… 
May 3, 2019
How To Improve Your Negotiating Skills
Let’s face it – there are a lot of different moving parts to the game of  negotiating with all of the different negotiation styles and  negotiating techniques that are out there.  When we spend time thinking  about how we can become better negotiators, it can be all too easy for  us to very quickly become overwhelmed.  When this happens, we generally  end up delaying taking any steps to become better. In order to take this large task and break it down into something that is more manageable, we  need some guidelines on how to proceed. 
April 26, 2019
How To Enhance Your Deal After An Agreement Is Signed
So here’s an interesting thought for you: when is a negotiation over and  done with?  I suspect that most of us would say once the deal has been  signed by all parties. It turns out that this is not the case.  Instead, reaching a deal with the other side and having that deal  signed may just be the start of your negotiations.  Are you ready for  this? 
April 12, 2019
5 Ways To Become A Better Negotiator
Congratulations – you are a negotiator! This is an impressive accomplishment. However, now you are facing the question of what’s next?    We would all like to become better negotiators and boost our  negotiation styles and negotiating techniques; however, often we find  ourselves unsure of how we can make this happen. The good news is that  being a negotiator means that you’ve mastered a large set of skills. In  order to become a better negotiator, you simply have to identify  additional key skills and master those also.  Let’s take a look at what  you still have to learn. 
April 5, 2019
How To Deal With Liars When You Are Negotiating
This business of negotiating is a tricky business indeed. No, we don’t  always want to show up at the negotiating table and use our negotiation  styles and negotiating techniques to lay all of our cards out in front  of the other side. However, there appears to be a fine line when it  comes to lying.  Just exactly how far is too far?  More  importantly for you as a negotiator, how should you handle it if when  you are negotiating with someone you start to realize that they are not  being truthful with you? 
March 29, 2019
“Win-Win” Does Not Just Happen: How To Create A “Win-Win” Negotiation
Yes, yes – I’m sure that we’ve all at least heard of the book “Getting  To Yes” and with a little luck a number of us have actually read it. The  gist of the book is that you can use your negotiation styles and  negotiating techniques to negotiate better deals if you can find a way  to create a deal that benefits both parties.  This “win-win” deal  is highly desirable, but at times it can appear to be very hard to  achieve.  As negotiators, what we need are some tips for our next  negotiation that will show us how we can make win-win work for us. 
March 22, 2019
The Role Of Anchoring Bias In A Negotiation
If ever there was a fundamental question in negotiation, it would  probably not be which negotiation styles or negotiating techniques to  use, but rather it would have to be the classic “should I make the first offer or wait for the other side to make the first offer”  question.  For the longest time, the thinking went that we should sit  back and allow the other side to make the first offer. The reason for  this was so that we could learn valuable information based on what they  asked for. However, negotiating research has shown that the cost of  waiting for the other side to make an offer far outweighs the benefits  of us making the first offer.  Looks like we’ve got some research to do… 
March 15, 2019
Put The Power Of ZOPA To Work For You In Your Next Negotiation
Let’s face it – negotiating is not an easy thing to do. There is all of  the preparation that goes into it, there is the effort of actually doing  it using all of our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, and  then, with a little luck, there will be a deal that both sides will  agree to when it’s all over.  Unfortunately it can be all too easy for us  to do one of the two things that we really should not do: reach a deal  with the other side when we really should not or walk away from a deal  that we should have agreed to.  In order to prevent this from occurring  we need to take the time to prepare for each negotiation and, as a part  of doing this, take the time to analyze the zone of possible agreement (ZOPA)  for this negotiation. 
March 8, 2019
Defensive Negotiation Strategies That Every Negotiator Needs To Know
If this was a perfect world, then every time that you went into a  negotiation you would be facing someone who was doing this for the first  time. They would be unsure of themselves and they would end up making  all sorts of very basic mistakes.  However, it’s not a perfect world and  more often than not you are going to find yourself sitting across the table from a skilled negotiator  who is wise to all of your negotiation styles and negotiating  techniques.  When this happens, you are going to have to make sure that  you have the defensive negotiation strategies that you’ll need in order  to get the job done. 
March 1, 2019
How To Close A Deal When You Have Already Tried Everything
So just exactly how does a negotiation end? Either both parties give up and walk away with no deal being reached, or you are somehow able to use your negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to find a way to close the deal.   It’s this deal closing thing that can be so tricky to do sometimes. In  fact, we can find ourselves in situations where we have tried to wrap  things up, get the other side to agree to a deal, and we’ve failed. When  we find ourselves in this kind of a situation, what is a negotiator to do? Give up? Nope, you need to go back in there and try to wrap this negotiation up. You just might have been doing it all wrong. 
February 22, 2019
The Challenge Of Attempting To Negotiate Online
Welcome to the modern world that we are all living in! In the old days,  if you wanted to negotiate with someone you had to show up, sit down at  the negotiation table, and then proceed to use your negotiation styles  and negotiating techniques to have a lengthy discussion with them.  In  our modern times, this is no longer necessary – we can now negotiate online.  However, as negotiators we need to understand that negotiating online  is very different from negotiating in person. There are different  challenges that we are gong to have to be prepared to deal with.  Despite  the fact that we’ll be negotiating online, we are still going to be  looking for ways to create both value and rapport with the other side. 
February 15, 2019
How To Create Value During A Negotiation
 At lot of us go into a negotiation like we are getting ready to go to war.  We do our research, make sure that we know who we’re going to be going  up against, prepare our demands and then use our negotiation styles and  negotiating techniques to charge into battle. To us a negotiation is all about competition.  The more points that we can score, the better the chance that we’re  going to win this negotiation and the other side is going to lose.  However, maybe we’ve been looking at this all wrong. Is it possible that the goal of any negotiation should be about creating value? 
February 8, 2019