A great negotiation question

When you think you understand, ask more questions.
— John L Graham

I have been studying and practicing Negotiation for three decades. For much of that time I have understood the power of asking good questions. In the last few weeks I attended a breakfast being delivered by one of my colleagues: Stephen Kozicki and discovered a great negotiation question.

During the breakfast Stephen revealed one of his secrets for success when negotiating for personal items like TV’s, cars and houses. He said he always asks one simple negotiation question which uncovers lots of sources of value in a deal.

And the question is so simple: What can we do to make this happen today?

This is a beautiful negotiation question because urgency does two things: it avoids lots of game playing by the other person because it signals the negotiation will be short; it encourages the other person to reach for big sources of value that will seal the deal quickly.

Try this negotiation question for yourself and see just how powerful it can be for you.