Ask good questions when you negotiate!
- Open-ended questions
These are the kinds of questions that require a detailed answer in a negotiation and cannot be simply replied to with a ‘yes‘ or ‘no‘ response. They consist of using who, what, where, when, why, and how. The respondent has no alternative but to provide some detail.
Example – ‘ How did you arrive at that particular price?‘
- Open opportunity question
This form of question invites the person to participate and offer their views.
Example – ‘ What do you think of this option as a solution?‘
- Leading Question
Just like it sounds, you try to guide the person to your point of view in a persuasive manner.
Example – ‘ With all these advantage I’ve pointed out, don’t you think that this package benefits us both and is the best way to go for both of us?‘
Or, another form of leading negotiation question simply tails off and invites the other person to fill in the blanks.
Example – ‘ And after we provide those documents that you just mentioned, you will….?’
- Low key question
This is a gentle way to ask a question and not trigger an emotional or hostile response.
Example – ‘ How much more will this cost if we chose this additional feature?‘
- Sequential questions
Sometimes, it can be very good strategy to ask a series of questions to lead up and achieve a particular result conclusion. Generally, it might be a good idea to plan these in advance.
Example – ‘ And after you complete the first delivery, how long will it take for you to have the second shipment ready and sent to us?‘
- Flattery question
This is an effective means to be both complimentary to your counterpart while eliciting information from them, both at the same time. Everyone responds well to a friendly compliment.
Example – ‘ Could we draw upon your particular and specialized expertise to add some input into this particular issue?‘
- Probing deeper question
When you need to gain a better insight into a person’s thought process to further illuminate their rationale or position.
Example – ‘ Could you provide us with more detail in how you analyzed the data that you just described and how you reached your conclusion?‘
- Emotional thermometer
There are occasions when you will sense that something might be starting to boil beneath the surface. This might be a good time to address a pending emotional response that might de-rail the negotiation by simply checking out how the other person feels about certain issues. Example – ‘How do you feel about that aspect of settlement package?‘
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