What is a negotiation minefield and how do you get out of it?

I was re-listening to an interview with Jim Camp today. I’ve listened to it for who knows how many times, love it!

Jim Camp is also known as one of the world’s most fierce negotiators and you can learn a lot from this guy, because negotiations apply to everything we do in life.

Anyway, one thing that stuck to me during the interview is on assumptions and compromises.

These are, as Jim puts it, negotiation minefields. They’ll get you killed every time.

For example, when a consultant heads into a meeting with a big company.

He is able to really help them with his skills, he gets all excited about it.

So the emotions start to rise up. And then he starts thinking, I’ve never worked with a big company like this before, what if they think my price is to high because of my lack of experience working with a big company?

And then comes the fear which tries to get to a compromise. So just to be sure, he lowers his price a little bit to be safer. And then he starts planning everything how he’ll do the pitch and so on.

He didn’t even get to the meeting to talk with people and already he is losing. He also has no idea what is the big company’s vision and what exactly do they need. But he already has a pitch ready, which is destined to fail because it might not be in line with their vision.

It’s a minefield you’ll never get out of.

Now just think, how many businesses are driven by assumptions, on what they think their customers want?

No wonder they can’t get any results, and this is just a reminder of how knowing your market is important in everything you do.

Yes, that includes emails too.

In negotiations, you have the luxury of talking face to face with a person. So through conversation, it’s easy to see their point of view and what drives them.

Online, it’s a bit harder. You have to research, a lot.

Or you can also go with a more direct approach, through a survey. Even better, through a quiz, because people love taking these.

If you’re smart with your questions, you can learn a lot from your market.

So your marketing decisions won’t be based on assumptions and trying to find a compromise – they’ll be based on knowing the market, their vision and their needs.


P.S. If you’re looking for a good quiz building platform, Interact is pretty badass. And it integrates with most email platforms, so you can get all that yummy data (along with their emails) directly to your list.