How Technology and Marketing Have Changed Traditional Negotiation Tactics

by | Mar 25, 2018

Technology has changed almost every aspect of our lives, especially how we do business.

Unfortunately, many of us haven’t changed with it.

Traditional negotiation tactics are a good example.

While our understanding of certain principles of human behavior still hold true and shouldn’t be discounted just because of new technology, many of the tactics people regularly use need to be modified in light of how technology and even modern marketing have disrupted the way we communicate.

 

4 Ways Technology and Marketing Have Changed Negotiation Tactics

If your negotiation tactics haven’t changed over the past 10 years, you’ve probably noticed that they don’t work as well as they used to.

As we no longer communicate the exact same way we did a decade ago, this should be expected.

Take a moment to understand the four reasons those tactics don’t work anymore and you can adjust them accordingly.

 

1. More Information Is Now Available

In the past, the person with more information often “won” the negotiation. The side that did more research knew more about the topics at hand. They couldn’t be manipulated into accepting a lesser deal. In fact, they could use this information to do just the opposite and influence the other party into accepting terms that were more favorable for themselves.

Of course, information is more readily available than ever before.

Thanks to the Internet, researching almost any topic couldn’t be easier. Smartphones have made it possible to fact-check people on the fly, too.

Even most senior B2B buyers are using social networks to conduct research before committing to a buying decision.

Remember when people thought social media would never affect B2B?

Another simple example is sites like Glassdoor.com. Employers once had a powerful advantage when it came to salary negotiations. They could claim a certain amount was the average salary for a certain position or quote an imaginary “industry standard.” Applicants can now visit Glassdoor and other sites to find out if this is true.

This is one more reason to advocate for win-win scenarios. You can no longer rely on having a monopoly over important facts. The other party will most likely have them, too. So be open, be honest, and use this information to find a mutually-beneficial outcome.

 

2. Cultural Conflicts Are a Frequent Challenge

Technology is driving globalization at an increasing rate, which means that you are probably doing a lot more business with clients from other parts of the world. You may be familiar with some of these, but others may require a quick check of the map.

More importantly, you have to anticipate potential cultural differences when negotiating.

Many negotiation tactics are based on American culture. They may still prove effective, too, if the other party is the one that wants something from you.

However, if you’re the one starting from the weakened position, you’ll want to understand how things are done in the other party’s country.

Even if you have all the power, this isn’t a bad idea.

Remember: you want a win-win outcome.

Recently, I recommended a number of books on negotiation tactics. One that deserves a place on your shelf for this very reason is, Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands. Terri Morrison is an expert in international business relations and details the cultures of more than 60 countries, making it an indispensible reference that will only become more valuable as technology continues to make the world a smaller place.

 

3. Negotiation Tactics That Rely on Emotion Don’t Work as Well

Emotion has always affected buying decisions, which is why many negotiation tactics focus on getting the other person into an emotionally-stimulated state, so they’d be more likely to comply.

Get them excited.

Get them nervous.

Get them worried about missing out on this opportunity.

The list goes on and on.

This doesn’t work as well anymore because of technology.

People aren’t getting in rooms to negotiate like they used to. They might not even have a conference call until the process is almost over.

Instead, they’re going back and forth via email. They may even use shared hubs to track the status of their negotiations.

This doesn’t leave a lot of room for emotion.

Furthermore, purchase decisions are made by an average of 5.4 people now. This slows the pace of negotiations down even more.

 

4. Proactive Approaches Work Best

One of the biggest effects marketing has had on negotiations is with the advent of the inbound approach.

In short, companies attract potential clients by offering free, valuable advice. This begins a sales funnel that often involves an actual negotiation phase.

The interesting thing is that inbound marketing has probably produced negotiation tactics that aren’t actually useful.

Many businesses assume their leads know more than they really do. They expect these potential buyers to take control of the negotiation and miss out on prime opportunities to close when this doesn’t happen.

Yes, marketing and technology have given people a wealth of information, but as many marketers have had to learn the hard way, more isn’t always better.

Salespeople need to take something like an account-based marketing approach to negotiations where they assume the other party will not lack for information but may lack for knowing their best option.

Once again, if you have a win-win mindset, it’s easy to take responsibility for helping potential clients understand the outcome that will work best for their needs.

 

Learn Modern Negotiation Tactics from an Expert

By now, it should be clear why traditional negotiation tactics don’t pack the same punch they used to.

That doesn’t mean you have to give up negotiating, though.

You just need to update your abilities.

During RedRock Leadership’s eight-week Systematic Foundation™ program, I’ll do just that. Drawing from my years of experience, I’ll show you how to negotiate in the 21st century. We’ll also go over other important skills like creating actionable goals, building positive relationships, and creating win-win scenarios for you and your clients.

If you lead a team, you’ll want to consider my Take the Lead™ program. I’ll show you how to consistently motivate your staff, hold people accountable, and build an environment that fosters trust.

Generating leads, negotiating terms, and closing deals are as important as ever. Use the above tips to adapt to modern times and consider further professional training to ensure you have all the tools you need to succeed.

Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby

Founder of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.