Negotiating Tip #11:
Expect the Unexpected
No matter how well prepared we are going into negotiations, almost always something unexpected happens and we are put on the spot. The other side brings up something we did not know. It turns out that the case we are making is not as perfect as we thought. Maybe the competition is tougher than we realized; maybe our company has some flaws we had not realized.
These situations are highly likely to make you uncomfortable. Negotiations are uncomfortable situations to begin with – after all, you are negotiating because you disagree with the other side, and disagreements make most of us uncomfortable. Since we can’t avoid this reality, we should accept it and learn to live with it. Reality is not necessarily pleasant.
You should approach the unknown – the unexpected – as an opportunity to grow. Often you will be able to rise to the challenge, and that is great. Inevitably sometimes you will fail, and you have to take that as a way to learn, to develop new skills. If you succeed 100 percent of the time, then you are not taking enough risks; you are not aiming as high as you should. The most successful negotiators are those who are willing to occasionally fail.