Friday, August 2, 2013

The win-win negotiation

The win-win negotiation is killing your business.  The ultimate goal of a successful negotiation is one where both sides end up getting what they need and want, but that's how a negotiation ends, not how it starts.

So much has been said and published about negotiating for a win-win outcome over the years that it has affected the way many people start a negotiation.  It has resulted in a desire to start with a position that you think the other side will like.  You have already made [mental] concessions in hopes the negotiation will be smooth and easy.

Unfortunately it doesn't work this way.  It all too often results in a lopsided or lose-lose agreement.  

It's no surprise that this same mentality of, "we can both win!" has spilled over into marketing.  Most websites and marketing efforts aim to please.  On the surface, even conversion rate optimization is all about reducing the friction of a sale.

Winning is what propels us to do better and supplies us with the appropriate resources.  If you truly want to win, you need to shake things up and push back.  It is a little counter intuitive, but the harder you push at the negotiating table, the better the deal will be for both sides.

Your website needs to push back on your visitors as well.  There is a psychological phenomenon where the harder you work for something, the more you like and appreciate it.  

A successful conversion optimization project will increase friction at the beginning of the sales cycle and decrease friction at the end, during the purchasing process.  Just like in a negotiation, this creates a positive friction at the beginning to make sure both sides are getting what the want.  In conversion terms, this increases the quality of your conversions.  

Once both sides are happy with the deal, you don't want to get bogged down in paper work.  For conversion optimization, this means reducing the friction to buy, which results in more sales.

Your website is having a conversation with your visitors.  Your visitors are looking for something and your website is trying to convince them to choose you.  You may not be aware, but this is a negotiation. 

Is your website losing the negotiation?