Three powerful lessons that a 725 year old fable can teach you about Negotiation!

pied_piper_with_childrenThere have been and will always be these ultra modern theories to teach you the very basics of negotiation. The situations that you face today are no where different from the ones that even your forefathers faced; yet we keep on looking out for new strategies rather than adding more fuel to the basics.

Last week just going down the memory lane, I found this old tale, which I believe everybody has either learnt in schools or read about it in their childhood days. The story popularly titled “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” dates back to the year 1284. In case if you want to brush up what the story was about read this. By then we were not so capable of understanding it, but today I believe the same story can give you great insights into doing powerful negotiations and closing deals.

The 3 immediate and powerful lessons for negotiation

  1. Know their pains – Simply take this. If the Pied Piper came to Hamelin to sell toffees or mosquito coils were there any chances that such a fable would had been created? The people at Hamelin had a million problems but a pied piper can be a hero if he hits the nail at the right point and hits it hard. Don’t you believe so? Come out of the cabins, dig deeper than the problem statements that you get. Go out and talk to the actual user who will consume your product, your service and understand his pain areas. Clients will always praise vendors saying “He knows my business well”. Know their pains and show how well you can eradicate it. If you succeed in convincing that way. The business is yours!
  2. Know their gains – The second (and rather interesting) part of the story begins when the other party denies keeping their words. They have gained what they wanted, now who cares! Has this happened to you? (Okay. Stop dreaming about your last appraisal). At any point of time you need to know the Achilles heel of the other party. Incase if things don’t move as they were planned what are your plans. What can be done? If the piper can mesmerize rats, can he do the same with kids? If you know what the rats in your situation are; know the kids.
  3. Know the art of juggling between their pains and their gainsYes I believe that negotiation is a win-win proposition but what if the other party doesn’t believe in the same. Deals like relationships always last with this juggling of give and take. You give some, you lose some. But at the higher level the relationship has to add value to both the sides and for this the juggling between the pains and gains is required. There are times that you charge a premium and there are times that we have to cut corners. If the juggle is not well balanced relationships don’t last. Period. So understand the give and take. Juggle them and Juggle well.

So these were the 3 powerful lessons that a Pied Piper can teach you. Know their pains, know their gains and know the art of juggling between their pains and gains. But hey is this all what negotiations are all about. Possibly not, but this was an attempt to use a simple fable and show how strongly is it similar to your real life and what can you learn. Hope you liked the approach. In weeks to come I will be covering a lot more on negotiation. Till than – enjoy the take away and hey! Keep sharing this post via mails and the social media

“In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”
— Chester L. Karrass: Negotiation Quotes

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salu June 16, 2009 at 5:32 am

hi dude i finally found it like what Karrass said.

Chanda Himanshu June 16, 2009 at 5:58 am

Thanks for the comment. More quotes coming your way :)

Ramesh Bishnoi June 16, 2009 at 7:20 am

Very good article (and it is also in end user’s language). Keep great work. Have appreciate your Time Management skills as well.

Chanda Himanshu June 16, 2009 at 8:09 am

Thanks. Learnt quiet a lot with you 😉

Neeraj June 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

impressive dude. nice conclusion.

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