Recession Proof Your Negotiations

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Do you think it’s easier or more difficult to negotiate in tough economic times? Well, it depends. I’ve been asked by many people, if it’s easier or more difficult to negotiate during a recession. The answer I’ve given is, it depends on how well a person can read body language, and the overall negotiation skills they possess.

Some people will become shrewder negotiators during tough economic times, while others will roll over and play dead. The ones that will become shrewder will negotiate harder, simply because they know others won’t negotiate as stringently. Which one will you be?

During recessionary times, some individuals and corporations will become more desperate for certain goods and services. Their resources, more than likely, will become strained and thus it will become more difficult for them to get the goods and services they need. To the degree that they really need what it is that you have, they will be more apt to negotiate with you. That creates an opportunity for those individuals that are good at negotiating. During tough times, if you’re a good negotiator, you can acquire what you need at a better price and with less effort. 

During tough economic times, some people you negotiate with will believe since the economic times are tough, they will not be able to get good deals. If they possess that mindset, make sure they’re right. Make their perception become their reality. Don’t take advantage of them, but understand the bargaining position you’re in and use it to your advantage.

If you can read and interpret body language accurately, you will be able to glimpse the inner mind of those with whom you negotiate. In order to read body language accurately, you will need to know how to interpret body language signals and gestures. Body language signals such as open, closed, and evaluation gestures will allow you to gain valuable insight into the minds of those you negotiate with and thus make the negotiation session more favorable to you. Some of the cues you should look for are …

     -  Open gestures: unbuttoning of coat, loosening of ties/collar button, uncrossing of arms

     -  Closed gestures: crossed legs/arms, short responses

     -  Evaluation gestures: head supports itself and hand rest on cheek – chin stroking

Once you can interpret these and other gestures accurately, in a lot of situations, you will be able to interpret the intentions and actions of others and in some situations, you will be able to do so before the other person is aware of their own intentions.

All things considered, there will be considerably more opportunities to acquire what you want and need in a recession or tough economic times. The degree of your success will be directly related to your ability to negotiate, which to some degree will be directly related to how well you can read body language. Simply stated, the better you are at reading body language accurately, the more you will receive … and everything will be right with the world.

The negotiation lessons are …

• During a recession, don’t be afraid to negotiate more stringently, but be sure to interpret body language accurately, to determine when you’re close to achieving your goals.

• In tough economic times, in all phases of the negotiation, you have to be more mindful of where you are in the negotiation in order not to lose what you’ve gained. People will have fewer disposable resources and thus they will attempt to maximize the resources they have. In essence, they will want to get the more while giving up less.

• Commit yourself to learning more about reading body language. The return you will get on the time that you take to learn how to read body language will pay off in all aspects of your life.

Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator, will be joining Brenda Jeanne Wyche's
Money Making Boot Camp tele-seminar series expert lineup, to facilitate a four-part course on Mastering the Art of Negotiating . . . coming June, 2008.  Details will follow.

Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator is author of the popular book, Negotiate: Afraid ‘Know’ More.”  If you’d like more information on how you can become a more savvy negotiator, click here to checkout Greg's new book, Negotiate: Afraid, ‘Know’ More.”
Please visit Greg's website at for additional information and negotiation resources for individuals and businesses.

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