Thirsty in the Desert: The Art of Negotiationby Nick Segal on February 3, 2010
What makes a negotiator effective?
Imagine you are in the desert. You have no water. No food. The shirt on your back, ripped and tattered, a pair of torn khakis and a pair of worn leather sandals account for all your possessions in your current universe.
Prepared for the inevitable with the sun beating down upon you for now the third day with nothing but sand and blue sky all around you. Off in the distance…could it be? Someone or something seems to be coming toward you. Clearing the dust away from your eyes with your weathered hands, indeed it is not a mirage but a man walking his camel, heading your way. Laden with what seems to be supplies draped across the camel’s back, this man looks very well equipped for the landscape and the associated conditions. His cotton headdress and loose, flowing white clothing protect him from the heat and you can see that he seems to be drinking something from a leather pouch.
Within moments, your paths will cross. Your spirits brighten at the prospect that this man could save your life. Gauging that your savior is within earshot, you strain your parched throat to emit one vital word: “Water.”
The man continues his approach towards you in a dust cloud created by the trudging hooves of his four-legged transport and then stops.
“Water, you say?” His voice clear and strong, with a hint of an English accent.
“Oh, yes. Very thirsty.”
“Hmmm. Certainly a silly place to be without it.”
“Agreed. Can you help me?”
The stranger pauses for a moment and, with a wry smile, continues.
“What do you have to offer me in return?”
Certainly an interesting predicament, and not unlike how buyers and sellers sometimes communicate in a home-for-sale transaction.
It’s important that Realtors have the ability to think on their feet and with confidence, in order to achieve the success that their clients desire. Recently, at our company, we began a 5-week intensive — an advanced-training series called The Partners Trust Negotiation Institute, designed to further enhance the already excellent negotiation skills of our Associates. The intensive includes “break out” sessions into smaller groups, with one additional evening each week during the series.
Associates are encouraged and challenged to expand beyond their comfort zones. There are books involved, role-playing scenarios, high-level strategies, and there is even a final exam!
We ask questions, such as “What would you do and how would you respond if faced with this situation?” and “How creative, in the absence of tangible resources, can you be to achieve your objective?” We face fears, we bond, and we challenge each other to bring out the very best within.
Let’s face it, the vast majority of brokerages are still operating like it’s ten years ago. At the fast pace that the world and its markets are changing, ten years may as well be a hundred years. In my opinion, our Negotiation Institute is exactly the type of training and service that today’s real estate brokerage must provide in order to be stellar in today’s environment.