We negotiate every day of our lives, and in the business realm it is absolutely paramount to your success. However, how many times have you found yourself struggling to convince your client or boss to get your way? Having poor negotiating skills could cripple your business and have you losing key customers.
Does being a savvy negotiator require specific skills or complete confidence? Well, partially yes, but there is more to the answer. Anyone can learn to bring an A-game to the table and get what they want – you just need to know the finesse behind proper negotiating.
Just taking a stance on an issue and pushing YOUR point of view across isn’t enough to get the negotiation in your favour. Also, having a “take it or leave it” attitude or being aggressive will not ensure your land a business client or a salary raise.
The more experienced negotiators occasionally refer to their strategy as the “negotiating game.” This may be a bit misleading as it infers that there is a combat going on in which someone wins while another loses.
Learning how to negotiate effectively means coming up with beneficial outcomes for everyone (and more so for yourself).
So, without any further ado….
Here are some smart strategies that will increase your negotiating prowess to have an easier time getting what you need or want in a noble manner.
Negotiate Your Way to a ‘Yes’
Be Quiet & Listen
Turn down your volume and tune into what others are saying. It may be easy to assume what someone is about to say and finish their sentences for them…but hold your voice. Listening is not an easy skill, especially when it comes to the art of negotiation. We are sometimes so involved in getting what we want that we don’t listen to the other party.
So, learn to concentrate on what others are telling you and listen to them. If you have a tendency to drift away mentally or doze off while someone is speaking to you, keep your eyes focused on the person you are talking with. Also, keep your body aligned with the other person to show that you are attentive (this is also a tip for yourself to be a good listener).
According to the well-respected author, Ed Brodow of Negotiation Boot Camp, listening is crucial for two reasons: it shows respect and will build trust with the other person. Also, as you listen, repeat what the bargaining party has said to ensure that you fully understand their position.
Do Your Homework
Prepare, prepare and prepare as much as possible before your bring your deal to the table. Make sure that you do some brainstorming to come up creative solutions.
Let’s say that your counterpart won’t budge on an offer you are proposing regarding a price point, salary raise or terms of contract. Your part of the proposal should provide some concrete evidence that concludes a beneficial outcome for the other party. It’s optimal to have some research or past data to help you form your case and lean the terms in your favour. For instance, if a potential customer tells you that they will pay a certain price for your services, having done prior research will allow you to counter offer since you already know that they paid before for a similar service and what is available on the market.
Preparation is power – and your secret weapon. It gives you an upper hand of having valuable information at your disposal to get what you want when negotiating.
Create a Win-Win Situation
How often have you focused your energy on getting what YOU want out of a negotiation? Although this may sound natural, you should also consider what the other person wants too. This may seem like you’re going against the whole purpose of negotiating on a deal, but it’s not.
Both you and the other party need to get something out of the bargain for it to be a win-win outcome. Therefore, understand what the other person wants to gain from the deal and come up with a way for them to reach it, while you also achieve your outcome of the deal.
Understand and study what’s important to your counterpart. What are their motivations? What are their challenges? What are their goals? This will enable you to tune into the other person’s thought process and won’t come across as sacrifice on their behalf. You will be offering a solution to an existing problem they are experiencing.
- Place yourself in their position — it is important to understand what is valuable to the other side.
- Know your worth — you have come to negotiate for a reason.
- Ask questions — you will gain valuable insight into your counterpart’s interests and motivations.
- Improvise — being prepared is your secret weapon
- Think of just one strategy — come up with a plethora of answers and solutions to push the negotiation in your favour
- Mimic back aggressive behaviour — stand by your goals and don’t get angry if the other side starts to become more assertive in their requests.
How about some hands-on negotiating workshops?
If you are a female entrepreneur or business-minded woman who wants to learn from some top-notch female negotiators, join the Creative Women Conference coming up in 2017!