A few tips for overcoming fear in negotiation

halifax consulting Published by Halifax Consulting – 13 July 2023

Fear has a virtue: it shows a certain motivation to avoid loss or danger. Indeed, if we feel this emotion in negotiation, it means we really want to do well and close the deal. We just have to make sure we’re not blinded by it.

3 tips to negotiate without fear…. and without reproach!

1. Apply pressure on the right side

Many people fear negotiations. The problem? The feeling of dependence, the fear of losing. In reality, there’s only one question to ask in the event of failure: who will suffer the heaviest consequences? You, your counterpart or perhaps neither?

Salespeople sometimes forget this reality. The consequences of an unsuitable purchase can be far more dramatic for the customer than that of an unsuccessful sale for the supplier. While the seller can move on, the buyer must now deal with the consequences of his mistake.

A final word on this point: the more aggressive the person you’re dealing with, the more you can tell yourself that the stakes are high. And the higher the stakes, the less afraid you should be…

Let’s never negotiate with our fears, but let’s never be afraid to negotiate.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

2. Sow doubt

Generally speaking, salespeople are quite friendly, seeking to create a good atmosphere with their customers, to be of service and so on. But when faced with negotiators whose sole aim is to squeeze as much out of the deal as possible, it’s a little disconcerting.

It’s better to point out the risks, give examples of failures, challenge the “obvious”, create doubt and foster fear of risk.

To do this, it is sometimes enough to dare to ask your interlocutor questions to make him doubt:

  • What risk are you prepared to take on this case?
  • What happens if the promises aren’t kept?
  • On a personal level, what is your internal exposure to this project?
  • How do you explain such different conditions for such comparable solutions?
  • Have you taken the time to ask for and check references on such complex projects?

3. Replace stakes with play

Gain a little height -and self-confidence at the same time-. Think of life as a game where nothing is too serious. In any case, you can’t win with fear in your stomach. The best salespeople are those who are determined to do their utmost to win, and who know how to digest failure quickly when it occurs.

The most important thing when you miss a basket is to forget about it immediately and move on. Just like a computer, you press “Delete”.

Tony Parker, great basketball champion

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