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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Negotiation'>Negotiation</a>
Talent & Recruitment
Jonathan Farrington

People negotiate differently and behave differently during the negotiation process.

We can observe different styles of negotiation and how different types of behaviour can affect the outcome of negotiations.

In commercial negotiations, some people negotiate quickly and take risks, others take their time and try to avoid risk. Some buyers are very loyal, others will automatically shop around. Some negotiators can be quite intimidating to the point of being rude; others are quite passive and easily manipulated.

This makes selling and negotiating a real challenge. To negotiate with all these different buyer types we need to be able to adapt our behaviour and be flexible in our approach.

To begin this process we can look at two aspects of buyer behaviour; assertiveness and responsiveness.

People who are assertive are confident and know what they want. They are not afraid to put forward opinions and are willing to listen to the opinions of others. They are not afraid of conflict and will be more than happy to argue their case.

People who are highly assertive can be seen as being aggressive while people who lack assertiveness are often passive and get taken advantage of. There are times when it is appropriate to be more or less assertive and we need to recognise when these times are.

Responsiveness means the extent to which people are willing to respond to us and our questions. Some people are highly responsive and will give lots of information about themselves, their problems and needs. Others are unwilling or unable to respond in this way and we see these people often as being negative or difficult.

We are all different and some of us are naturally assertive and some of us are not. Salespeople tend to be quite responsive, but sometimes we lack assertion. An example of this is during negotiations.

When customers put us under pressure to reduce prices or give discounts we find it difficult and uncomfortable and worry about damaging the relationship with the buyer.

There are four basic styles of behaviour and these are determined by the way, in which people relate to one another.

How can you ensure that you approach people in the correct way?

"Knowing About Social Styles", developed by Merrill and Reid, is a theory which I have discussed in several of my articles and it is very useful to have a thorough understanding of it when negotiating. In the Social Styles Model there are four basic "styles" or preferred ways of interacting with others.

Merrill and Reid believe that a person's Social Style is a way of coping with others. People become most comfortable with that style, in themselves and others.

A person's Social Style is measured in relation to three behavioural dimensions:

• Assertiveness

• Responsiveness

• Versatility.

The Assertiveness Scale:

Measures the degree to which a person is seen as attempting to influence the thoughts, decisions or actions of others either directly by tell behaviour or by questioning, e.g. ask behaviour.

Tell Behaviour: Is risk-taking, fast-paced, challenging.

Ask Behaviour: Is co-operative, deliberate actions, minimising risks.

The Responsiveness Scale:

Measures the degree to which a person either openly expresses their feelings or controls their feelings. The ends of the scale are "control" and "emote".

Control Behaviour: Is disciplined, serious, and cool.

Emote Behaviour: Is relationship oriented, open, and warm.

The two scales combine to give a two-dimensional model of behaviour, which will help you to understand how others perceive you. The dimensions of behaviour will also help you to plan how you can deal more effectively with people of different Social Styles.

The Four Social Styles And How You Should Negotiate With Them:

Driver .The Director.

• Assertive but not responsive

• Task rather than people-oriented.

• Decisive and determined

• Controlled emotions

• Set on efficiency and effectiveness.

• Likes control, often in a hurry.

• Firm, stable relationships

• Stubborn, tough.

• Impatient.

• Inflexible poor listener.

To Negotiate With Drivers:

• Plan to ask questions about and discuss specifics, actions and results.

• Use facts and logic.

• When necessary, disagree with facts rather than opinions. Be assertive.

• Keep it business-like, efficient and to the point.

• Personal guarantees and testimonials are least effective, better to provide options and facts.

• Do not invade personal space.

Expressive. The Socializer.

• Assertive and responsive.

• Reactive, impulsive, decisions spontaneous, intuitive

• Placing more importance on relationships than tasks

• Emotionally expressive, sometimes dramatic.

• Flexible agenda, short attention span, easily loved.

• Enthusiastic.

• Strong persuasive skills, talkative and gregarious.

• Optimistic; takes risks.

• Creative.

To Negotiate With Expressives:

• Seek opinions in an area you wish to develop to achieve mutual understanding.

• Discussion should be people as well as fact oriented.

• Keep summarising . work out specifics on points of agreement.

• Try short, fast moving experience stories.

• Make sure to pin them down in a friendly way.

• Remember to discuss the future as well as the present.

• Look out for the impulse buy.

Amiable The Supporter.

• Not assertive but responsive.

• Dependent on others.

• Respectful, willing and agreeable.

• Emotionally expressive.

• Everyone's friend; supportive; soft-hearted.

• Low risk-taker, likes security

• Group builder.

• Over sensitive.

• Not goal orientated.

To Negotiate With Amiables:

• Work, jointly, seek common ground.

• Find out about personal interests and family.

• Be patient and avoid going for what looks like an easy pushover.

• Use personal assurance and specific guarantees and avoid options and probabilities.

• Take time to be agreeable.

• Focus discussion on .how.

• Demonstrate low risk solutions.

• Don't take advantage of their good nature.

Analytical The Clinician.

• Not assertive, not responsive.

• Precise, orderly and business-like.

• Rational and co-operative.

• Self-controlled and serious.

• Motivated by logic and facts.

• Not quick to make decisions.

• Distrusts persuasive people.

• Like things in writing and detail.

• Security conscious.

• Critical, aloof, sceptical.

• Excellent problem solver.

• Likes rigid timetables.

To Negotiate With Analyticals:

• Take action rather than words to demonstrate helpfulness and willingness.

• Stick to specifics . Analyticals expect salesmen to overstate.

• Their decisions are based on facts and logic and they avoid risk.

• They can often be very co-operative, but established relationships take time.

• Consider telling them what the product won't do . they will respect you for it, and they will have spotted the deficiencies anyway.

• Discuss reasons and ask why? questions.

• Become less responsive and less assertive yourself.

If you are serious about developing not just your negotiation skills but also your all-round communication skills, I do advise you to familiarise yourself with the "Social Styles" model.

Copyright © 2008 Jonathan Farrington. All rights reserved

About the Author:

Jonathan Farrington is the CEO of Top Sales Associates and Chairman of The Sales Corporation - based in London and Paris. rticle Source:

About the author: 391

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