If you’ve ever watched a NASCAR race, you have likely witnessed this scenario: The leaders do everything right, and things are going smoothly...until they get stuck in lapped traffic.
In such instances, slower moving lapped cars stand between the leading drivers and their ultimate goal of winning the race.
In negotiations, Accusation Audits (AAs)® keep you out of lapped traffic, getting the slower cars out of the way and bringing you closer to achieving your goal. Lets examine five key benefits of Accusation Audits.
1. Help your counterpart think more clearly.
When you address the negative emotions impacting the negotiation from the outset, you eliminate the fear filters from your counterpart’s mind. This helps them think more clearly, putting them in a more productive frame of mind.
The human brain operates up to 30 percent more efficiently when in a positive state of mind. By using AAs to defuse the negatives at the beginning of the conversation, you make your counterpart smarter, which makes it that much easier to make a deal.
2. Relieve pressure.
In any negotiation, your counterpart comes to the conversation knowing they will have to confront you about something. Because many of us are wired to avoid confrontation, this puts pressure on the other side.
If you’ve done a thorough AA, you can relieve this pressure at the very start of the conversation, and your counterpart won’t have to worry about confronting you.
If your counterpart has preconceived negative notions they plan on bringing up during the negotiation, Accusation Audits enable you to proactively address those notions. This takes work off your counterpart’s plate, making it easier to move the conversation forward with no obstacles weighing anyone down.
3. Warm up your curiosity.
Just like Jacques Cousteau always searched for sunken treasures, the best negotiators always stay curious and hunt for Black Swans.
When you prepare AAs ahead of a negotiation, you dig into everything your counterpart might think about you. This is a good way to bring a curious mindset to the table. Ahead of sitting down, you have to examine your counterpart and determine what they might be feeling or what might put them in a negative space.
By forcing yourself to see things from the other side, you warm up your curiosity. Considering the dynamics of the situation, exploring the challenges your counterpart is facing, and constructing AAs to address all of these issues will further stoke your curiosity and improve your outcomes.
4. Build trust rapidly.
When you use effective, visceral AAs, your counterpart will wonder why you’re saying what you’re saying.
After all, most people want to talk around the negatives. When you address them directly, you build trust—to the point that your counterpart stops believing in the negatives altogether. If you address them proactively and aren’t scared to bring them up, they can’t be that bad, right?
Being up front and open is an easy way to build trust, accelerating your journey to Tactical Empathy and trust-based influence.
5. Challenge your counterpart to correct you.
As you prepare for your negotiation, bring up the worst-case scenarios: You probably think I’m the worst person to deal with. You might even think that I make your job much harder. When you get your counterpart to consider the worst possible outcomes, they will be more likely to acquiesce when you finally make your ask because you will have addressed every possible negative emotion or dynamic they may have held about you or your company.
For example, you might say something like this: I know you get tortured by calls like this all the time. You’re probably so busy you can’t afford to have someone like me waste your time. By the end of this phone call, you will regret the fact that you picked up the phone in the first place. You will think I’m the worst customer you had to deal with all day, maybe all year.
Then, your ask might be this: Would I be putting you in a bad position if I asked for a free upgrade to first class?
You are not the worst customer the other side has dealt with, so they will have an overwhelming desire to correct you to your benefit. You demonstrated that you value their time and the pressure they are under. When you ultimately make your ask, your counterpart will be happy to show you how easy it is for them to oblige. No, you’re not the worst customer I’ve dealt with—not at all! They will speak your value statement; you can take it from there.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a team. Forward this article to the 7 people on your team (personal or professional) who will help you go far.