Arctic Wolves and Negotiation.
Christmas is around the corner, so we’ll keep this short and sweet.
Keep these things in mind next time you prepare to greet and meet someone new, with which you have little to no history. The tips below apply to old partners as well, but they’re more difficult to test out, as there already is a balance of power between the two parties.
And speaking of power, we have a powerful, comprehensive guide on pretty much everything you want to know about negotiation: Negotiate your way to a better Deal
What do Arctic Wolves have to do with negotiation? Glad you asked.
1. There is no room for fear in a meeting
Arctic wolves have been living in an area with relatively few human settlements. Because of that, they’re not afraid of humans and can easily be convinced to approach a human.
Humans, however, have a cultural fear of wolves. They eat grandmas, they steal children, they’re portrayed as the embodiment of evil. Naturally, no man in his right mind would ever come near them. Not unarmed, anyway.
What this does is hinder any possible friendly interaction.
In a meeting, the Other is the Arctic Wolf. Looks and reputation alone make for biased decisions. So abandon all prejudice, ye who enter meetings!
By being as friendly as you can (or as your brand guidelines allow), you show confidence. And that instantly boosts your credibility. It shifts the power balance to your advantage. Even more, it shows and demands respect.
2. Have a backtracked success strategy
There are people who do approach Arctic Wolves. These people not only become friends with the animals, but to some extent domesticate them.
And they do so by envisioning their success story - think hard about what success looks like to you. How does it affect your meeting partner? What do each of you have to gain? What compromises were you willing to make?
Play it out in your head and only then let it develop naturally in the meeting room.
Oh, and don’t forget the BATNA.
3. Be likeable
However unafraid Arctic Wolves might be, they still have to like you. And not feel threatened by you. This also applies to meetings. Especially when you’ve just met your partners.
Any meeting begins with pleasantries. Small-talk. We all know that. But what only some know is that the exchange of personal information, of stories, positions the sharer as a desirable person to talk to.
Your sales force knows this. It’s called building rapport, and its main purpose is diminishing fear and developing a warm, welcoming climate. You want people to feel good about the talk - this disarms them and makes them more open to debate.
That’s it for today. Short. Sweet. As promised.