Sorry Star Trek fans, there is no Mr. Spock. The idea of dealing with someone with a lack of emotion and that just makes decisions based on logic is very much science fiction.
Don’t be misled by the title of the article, what I mean is negotiate like a human being.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all make decisions based more on emotion than on logic. It is well-known that we make decisions emotionally and then try to justify them intellectually after the decision. “The new car I bought gets great gas mileage and the interest rate on the financing was at the lowest point of the year.”
Really, we know that the car was purchased for many other reasons, mainly related to how the buyer pictured himself feeling after owning the new car.
So, if people buy based on emotions, does it make sense to negotiate only based on logic? Of course not. If you try to come across as all-business, straightforward and without emotion, you will soon find people don’t enjoy dealing with you.
People like people. People like to deal with those they feel have “human” qualities. Be down-to-earth, approachable, friendly, and interesting. Also, be interested in the human qualities of the person you are negotiating with.
It is much easier to take a tough position against a negotiating opponent that you don’t like. But, if you make yourself likeable, you can gain the upper hand. It has to be genuine though, and not just a negotiating tactic.
The quickest way to become likeable is to show interest in the other person. Find out some things about them, ask them questions, and show that you have something in common. From this common ground, you will be able to work more quickly toward a successful negotiation.
Some people think that the higher up in an organization you go, the less human people become. Surely the CEO of a billion-dollar company is above this idea of humanity and emotion, right? Wrong. Through all of my interviews and conversations with leaders in business and marketing, I have found that the higher up the ladder you go, the more human people become.
So, don’t try to spend your time developing a faceless, logic-only negotiating personality. Make yourself human and you will gain the upper-hand in your dealings with other humans.