Negotiating and the Three Ts: Trust, Time and
By Mark Hunter
Successful negotiating requires you have a strategy. The clearer your
strategy before negotiating, the more successful you will be. At the core of
the strategy is what I refer to as the "3 Ts of Negotiating: Trust, Time,
Trust - The more trust you and the other party have in each other, the less
need there will be to negotiate. The risk is in knowing whether the trust is
real or perceived.
Trust only comes through time and the quality of interactions you have had
with the customer. To gauge the level of trust you have established,
consider what the other person has told you about their company. The more
they tell you that is not known by others, the more trust they have in you.
Perceived trust is blind and will get you in trouble very quickly. It often
comes when the other party is a good communicator and is easy to get along
Time - The more time you have before it's necessary to finalize the deal,
the greater your leverage. If time is of the essence to you, do not allow
the other party to know what your timeframe is. A good negotiator will use
it to their advantage by knowing timelines the other party is dealing with -
without revealing anything other than what is necessary to help you close
Tactics - People use tactics to negotiate when they do not have an
established level of trust with the other person or they don't have time
working in their favor. The number and type of tactics a person will use is
in direct proportion to the lack of trust they place in others.
One way of looking at the role these 3 Ts play in negotiating is to think of
the sum of the three equaling 100%. If you have a high degree of trust in
the other person and they have trust in you, then there is no need to use
tactics or leverage time. In this case, trust might be 100%. On the other
hand, if you have very little trust in the other party, then you need to
rely on tactics and time to complete the negotiation. The worst case would
be where you have zero time to negotiate and there is no trust between the
two parties. In this case, the only "T" you have is tactics.
Your ability to increase the level of trust will always allow you to
decrease the importance of time and tactics. Start today paying close
attention to the level of trust that exists between you and each of your
customers. I encourage you to really think about this, even if you are not
currently in a negotiation situation.
Wise salespeople know how to assess each T with each customer. The more
adept you become at this, the better negotiator you will become. Are the
three Ts part of your strategy? They should be.
About the Author:
Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter," is a sales expert who speaks to thousands
each year on how to increase their sales profitability. For more
information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales
Motivation Blog, visit
www.TheSalesHunter.com. You can also follow him on Twitter
Hunter), and on his Facebook Fan Page,