Bargaining: You Must be Patient, Persistent & Calculating
We’ve all had to bargain at one time or another. At an early age, you may have found yourself attempting to bargain with your parents, whether in offering to do more chores in order to stay out late on a weekend, cajoling a sibling out of the last piece of dessert, or trying to borrow a coveted item. Perhaps you have always been more persuasive than others or consistently enjoyed exercises like debating or arguing your point.
One thing is for sure: if you are overwhelmed during the negotiation process, or prone to blowing your top, you won’t get far—especially as an attorney that clients have placed their complete trust in. For most of us though, this is a learned skill. A couple of negative experiences can be extremely valuable learning moments too. Here are some very important tips to keep in mind:
- Patience can be hard to come by at most times, but in bargaining and negotiating it is vital. This is the time to quelle the emotions, focusing on exactly why you came to the table, and remembering exactly what it is you hope to accomplish. Dig your heels in and be prepared to stay put until you and the other party have reached a suitable agreement. Although the opposing side may work hard to ruffle your feathers, this will be impossible if you are completely aware of what they are doing and keep remembering that you are in it to win the end goal that you and your client have decided on.
- Persistence will be key in meeting your client’s needs. Know ahead of time what type of settlement you will agree on—and what you absolutely will not. Again, there is no need to hurry and you should have no reservations about asking for exactly what you and your client want. Do spend a lot of time listening, however. While being proactive and assertive are critical too, listening will allow you to understand the others involved—and if you can put yourself in their shoes, you may be able to offer a much more positive type of negotiation. The others may find you to be much more likable too; and while you are certainly not there just to be everyone’s friends, taking a sincere but direct approach can result in a much more authentic and successful result. This is what others will remember about you too if they come to the negotiating table with you again.
- A win-win for both parties is always the best goal, but this is about getting results for your client, and to be a good negotiator, there are times that you need to be absolutely calculating. Delve deep to understand exactly what your client wants, what they are willing to settle for—and get all the background on the dispute. Get a feel for your opponent and use that insight to feel and demonstrate empathy, slowing the conversation to let you know you hear them and understand why they are asking for specific terms in the negotiation. If possible, set the time and location, and pick a place that is conducive to success—whether that is a boardroom or a comfortable and casual setting.
Are you interested in becoming a skilled lawyer and negotiator? Our mission at CDTA College of Law is to educate, train, and develop extraordinary legal advocates. Your legal education will be comprised of bar-tested academic subjects, skills training, and values reinforcement. Upon completion of your 4-year course of study you will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.