How to Be Better at Negotiating
We chat with a great organization Farm Rescue and a great friend Vance Crowe in this episode. Learn about how Farm Rescue can help you, your family, or your neighbors in a time of need. Then stick around for a ton of tips around how you can win more negotiations. Vance Crowe shares from his education and experiences to help the Farm4Profit group grow together!
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What’s Working in AG
Tips for negotiating with landlords, suppliers, buyers, and everyone else.
- Vance Crowe is a communications consultant that has worked for corporations and international organizations around the world. He has spoken before more than 150,000 people, answering questions about some of the most sophisticated and controversial technologies in the modern age.
- Vance is the former Director of Millennial Engagement for Monsanto. He previously worked as a Communications Strategist for the World Bank Group, as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Kenya, as a Communications Coordinator at a National Public Radio affiliate in Northern California.
- Vance holds a degree in communications from Marquette University and a master’s degree in cross-cultural negotiations from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy.
- He’s here today to help make the complex idea of negotiating simple for all of us to understand.
- This is now the second time we here at Farm4Profit have focused on this topic. Why is this so important?
- Cash rent
- Can anyone become good at negotiating?
- What does it take to be good at it?
- Is there an art to asking good questions?
- How can I become good at asking questions?
- How can we start a negotiation with a leg up?
- Seems like no one wants to “show their cards” first….Is that the right way?
- How do we recover if we feel like we are behind or losing?
- What are smart tradeoffs or ways to compromise?
- Should we even wany compromise?
- What is the 51/49 rule, why is it important?
- Is this the same as never split the difference?
- Are win-win deals really losers?
- Are there any sure-fire tips you can provide the listeners to improve their skills?
- 5 key tips everyone needs to know
- How does body language play into the negotiation?
- Do you have any exciting stories what would grab the listener’s ear?
- Is there anything else our listener needs to know about negotiating?
- Negotiations with someone who we believe has the upper hand.
- Negotiating with landlord who owns the farm ground. The idea is that owner could rent it out to any other farmer in the neighborhood if we don’t pay their price (which is probably too high). Control over a land base is key in agriculture and the reason many over pay cash rent on land.
- Negotiations with Ag retailers who provide chemicals, fertilizer, seed, and more.
- Negotiations with a salesperson who usually doesn’t have the final say. Most of the time is a large company with what appears to be set prices. Farmers just succumb to what is offered thinking it’s their only option.
- Negotiations with AG product purchasers. How do we get more money for the products we produce?
- Most farmers don’t sell directly to the consumer, so they market their product to processors. These can be grain elevators or meat packing facilities that have a combination of price x weight component with a basis factor for delivery and end product. How can we negotiate the sale to ensure we aren’t leaving any money on the table in the end?
- Negotiations with friends who also sell a product or provide a service.
- Agriculture is a tight knit group. More than likely the people you buy from in your network are also your friends. We don’t want to hurt their feelings, but also know the key to our future is to be a profitable farmer.
- Negotiations with family for time and labor.
- The common question around the AG world is how to balance farm and family. Our observations are some farmers feel guilty for spending more time on their work than their family. We believe there should be a balance, but balance doesn’t always mean equal. Most of the time the feeling of guilt comes from misrepresented expectations or abilities. How do we more effectively win discussions/conversations/negotiations about where our time is spent with family?
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- Remember, everything is negotiable.Don’t narrow a negotiation down to just one issue. Develop as many issues or negotiable deal points as you can and then juggle in additional deal points if you and the other party lock onto one issue.
- Crystallize your vision of the outcome. The counterpart who can visualize the end result will most likely be the one who guides the negotiation.
- Prepare in advance. Information is power. Obtain as much information as possible beforehand to make sure you understand the value of what you are negotiating. Remember, very few negotiations begin when the counterparts arrive at the table.
- Ask questions. Clarify information you do not understand. Determine both the implicit and explicit needs of your counterpart.
- Listen. When you do a good job listening, you not only gain new ideas for creating win/win outcomes but also make your counterpart feel cared for and valued. This also allows you to find out what the other party wants. If you assume that his or her wants and needs are the same as yours, you will have the attitude that only one of you can “win” the negotiation.
- Set a goal for each deal point. Define your minimum level of acceptance for each goal. If you aren’t clear on your goals, you will end up reacting to the propositions of your counterpart.
- Aim your aspirations high. Your aspirations will likely be the single most important factor in determining the outcome of the negotiation. You can aim high just as easily as you can aim low.
- Develop options and strategies. Successful people are those who have the greatest number of viable alternatives. Similarly, successful negotiators are those who have the most strategies they can use to turn their options into reality.
- Think like a dolphin. The dolphin is the only mammal who can swim in a sea of sharks or in a sea of carp. Dolphins are able to adapt their strategies and behaviors to their counterparts. Remember, even when negotiating with a shark, you have an option–you can walk away!
- Be honest and fair. In life, what goes around comes around. The goal in creating win/win outcomes is to have both counterparts feel that their needs and goals have been met, so that they will be willing to come back to the table and negotiate again. An atmosphere of trust reduces the time required to create win/win outcomes.
- Never accept the first offer. Often, the other party will make an offer that he or she thinks you will refuse just to see how firm you are on key issues. Chances are, if you don’t have to fight a little for what you want, you won’t get the best deal.
- Deal from strength if you can. If that’s not possible, at least create the appearance of strength. If the other party thinks you have no reason to compromise in your demands, he or she is less likely to ask you to.
- Find out what the other party wants. Concede slowly, and call a concession a concession. Giving in too easily tells the other party that you will probably be open to accepting even more concessions.
- Be cooperative and friendly.Avoid being abrasive or combative, which often breaks down negotiations.
- Use the power of competition. Someone who thinks it’s necessary to compete for your business may be willing to give away more than he or she originally intended. Sometimes just the threat of competition is enough to encourage concessions.