As a negotiator, I am sure you would have always thought that the outcome of every deal should be in your favour. Well, there is nothing wrong to think that way, but there is a gap between expectation and reality.
In reality, you may not always get a favourable outcome. The important thing in negotiation, however, is that it should not deter you from establishing your goodwill with the other side.
Yes, that’s the keyword – goodwill. Every negotiation is an opportunity to establish your goodwill. Many times, I have heard people make statements such as, “My deal didn’t close with them, but they are good people to deal with. May be some other time.”
The sentiment expressed in this statement is important. The moment one party feels “good” for the other party, the relationship is established somewhere, which leads to goodwill.
It is imperative to note that sometimes you may do business with a party only once in a lifetime. You should remember, though, that you don’t exist in a vacuum. The other person has contacts and networks and so do you. Both of you would talk about the deal in your own circles. If the negotiation process, by any chance, was an unpleasant experience, then it is very likely that the goodwill would not have been established and, thus, the reference would be poor.
If the negotiation process is a delightful experience, even in a scenario wherein the deal didn’t happen, the reference would be very good.
I always keep sharing with my GFMB class that whatever happens, one should always make sure that the other side is contented and happy when he or she leaves the negotiation table. To make sure that the other side is contented and happy, ask a simple question: “Would you do business with me again?” If the answer is yes, you have created a goodwill somewhere, which has a repeat value.
In context of many economies, business happens because of the ‘word-of-mouth’, and these references are a result of goodwill.