Product managers are meant to be many things – visionaries, decision-makers, leaders and much more. But what about negotiators? In this Sunday Rewind, Edward Scorcher, Chief Operating Officer of Agility in Mind delves into his favourite tips for negotiating with your stakeholders.
Know your position and stakeholders
Before anything, Edward explains to secure your home base first. Ultimately, you’re always in a weaker position if you’ve not prepared the ground for what to achieve. To ensure that you are best situated, it’s important to know who your stakeholders are as one of the initial steps.
Set your vision and align accordingly
Another key step is to start with the end in mind when negotiating. Think like a storyteller and construct characters that portray your story. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going to get there. At a minimum, a good vision needs to identify three things: the problem you are trying to solve, who you are trying to solve it for and what outcomes you want to meet (evidenced by a solid, meaningful KPI). Don’t turn up to talk to a stakeholder without this.
Ask open questions and be outcome focused
Edward says to take control of the situation by getting the other party to do the talking. Start first, and start quickly. Once you have control you’re able to focus your meetings on outcomes and keep things on track.
Learn to say no
Edward explains how we’re conditioned as children to learn to please. “We’re not kids anymore and product management is not child’s play,” he says. Saying no is the simplest form of setting an expectation, and sometimes, it’s best just to deny a request. Your reward will come when you get a great product out to market.
To discover Edward’s tips in further detail, ready Top tips for negotiating with stakeholders in full!