Naked Negotiating & 5 Seconds of Courage…
By Lisa L. Dyson, CMP, Director, Conference Services, TESOL International Association
and Jim Kelley, Director, Global Accounts, Production Resource Group, LLC
In this industry, negotiation skills are critical.
A good negotiator realizes that their behavior during a negotiation will follow (or haunt) them long after this one is complete. Let’s face it. We work in a pretty small industry. You will cross paths again in the future.
During the recent PCMA Education Conference in San Antonio, two sessions reminded us to focus on what is important. Check out our key takeaways from Matt Neuberger’s “Risk Free Negotiations with Clients” and Deborah Gardner’s “Naked Negotiating: Who Has the Power in Today’s Hospitality Profession?” below.
Naked Negotiating: Who Has the Power in today’s Hospitality Profession?
- Be up front about your needs and/or capabilities
- Ask questions – in particular, how? Why?
- Learn to flinch – for example, if a price is quoted and you feel it is too high, don’t be afraid to say “you want to charge how much for that?”
- Talk about the competition – they know their competitive set even better than you do
- Both sides need to provide history, data and budget numbers
- Understand cultural differences – especially for negotiations outside the U.S.
- Always have a plan B – allow yourself the option to walk away if the negotiations are not going well
- Get a mentor – preferably someone from the other side that can help you understand what is being asked of you and to answer questions correctly
Risk Free Negotiations with Clients
- Objectivity: the foundation of any negotiation has to be based on the facts and there has to be a willingness by both parties to have open and honest conversation around the gaps.
- Collaboration: both parties need to work together to create a set of outcomes that are fair and appropriate for everyone, there has to be balance.
- De-Personalize the conversation: frame the conversation around “company to company”, not “person to person”, this helps separate the individuals from the process and makes it less personal and helps to remove some of the emotion from the conversation.
- 5 seconds of courage: break it down to manageable chunks and muster together 5 seconds of courage at a time to tackle the difficult issues.
In the end, who has the negotiating power in today’s hospitality profession? The answer, not surprisingly, is “it depends.” It depends on which party in the negotiation is better at creating a sense of urgency (one way to do this is through deadlines) and connecting to the other party through effective communication.
What do you think? What is the best negotiating advice you have?
While these sessions aren’t on demand, you can view other sessions from the PCMA Education Conference here