Are you ready to become a master negotiator?
Do you think that if you’re confident enough you can win negotiations? You might have to reboot your skills, as you’ll need so much more to become a master negotiator. Over the past few years, we’ve reached a conclusion: you can’t get a good bargain if you’re cocky. Right now, there are other attributes that make a negotiator good at his/her job. Kindness, the ability to compromise, and honesty, are the newest most successful skills you need to close a successful deal.
As regular individuals we tend to give a negative connotation to the word ‘negotiation’. That’s because people are tired of salespersons blabbing on and on about some products you’re not going to buy anyway. But what happens to the business world? What skills do you need to get your other party’s attention?
1. Less chatting, more listening
You’ll have plenty of time to talk, so pay close attention to what your opponent has to say. A good negotiator is also a good listener, so allow your counterpart enough time to exhibit their offer, state their conditions, and draw up their terms. Enter a negotiation with your mind wide open, and try not to assume what the others will say. Listen carefully to their allegations and get your questions ready. Excellent negotiators know that the right queries might put opponents in difficulty. Every statement you make during a negotiation should be backed up by solid proof. Hence, you need to watch out as you can’t say things without knowing for sure they’re true or accurate. Make no mistake: negotiating a deal is like winning/losing a game. Your counterparts will eat you alive if they notice you can’t support your proclamations.
Word of advice: Learn how to spot a chatty negotiator that’s just looking to intimidate you. We often come across business people that never stop talking at the negotiation table. Their goal is to put your patience to the ultimate test, so keep it calm, don’t break down. Let them finish; better yet, ask them politely to stop talking because you’ve got something to say too.
2. Fear is not a weakness
We all fear that during a negotiation things might go south. Still, we can’t let that get in the way of our judgment. Rather than see fear as a weakness, we must learn how to embrace it. Your opponents are people too, so even if they seem overly confident this doesn’t mean they’re not scared something might go wrong. Nervousness and anxiety are extremely easy to spot at a negotiation table. How can you hide your emotions when your voice is trembling or when you’re sweating like a dog? It can be hard to believe but kindness is one of the best skills a negotiator can have. When you’re honest with your counterparts and you know what you want, there’s no reason to be anxious or scared. State your requirements firmly, don’t be afraid they’ll decline and you might get yourself a sweet deal.
Word of advice: Hide your emotions as best as you can during a negotiation by not talking. Let the other party talk first, and that will give you time to prepare. Listen carefully and you might even realize there’s nothing to worry about.
3. What’s your position at the bargaining table?
A negotiation demands two or more negotiators. Because it’s impossible for both candidates to be equals, one of them is stronger while the other is weaker. Are you a winner or a loser? Prior to moving further with your demands, establish who has the power. It may or may not be you; either way just tries not to freak out. Winning negotiations is not that difficult, and as long as you’re 100% focused on your goal you have great chances for success.
Word of advice: Turn to concessions if your position at the table is not a promising one. Win-win deals can save the day.
4. What’s your bargaining style?
Are you an aggressive negotiator or a passive one? Your personality should define your style, however try not to exaggerate either. You can’t let your anger or fear get the best of you. Passive negotiators are calm, relaxed, and peaceful. Still, this doesn’t mean they don’t have hidden strategies they can use at any time. Aggressive negotiators on the other hand are action-takers. They want to get things done as fast as possible. An aggressive behavior can have repercussions, especially in the business domain. Assuming your counterpart is also a professional negotiator, you can’t win if you’re aggressive because you’re not emitting trust and reliability.
Word of advice: Assess your style, don’t go overboard.
5. Focus on problems and not on the people
You cannot negotiate without separating people from the problems discussed. You may sometimes dislike the person you have to negotiate with, but this doesn’t mean that the negotiation cannot take place. After all, you negotiate because you want to solve a certain issue, and that should be of the utmost importance for both of you.
Word of advice: You’re a negotiator, so you must focus on your job. Although you may not like your opponent, but this doesn’t mean you can be subjective. Remember, it’s just business!
Related Post: Why Business Is Like A Massive Game Of Monopoly
6. Don’t be shy to say ‘no’
In the business world it’s literally impossible for negotiators to say ‘yes’ to every deal that comes in their way. It’s important to know your interests, and if you’re being offered a bargain that won’t bring you any long-term benefits, just say ‘no’. People often think that rejecting a deal means that you lost. That’s not true; walking away from the negotiation table can also work to your advantage. If you’re aware that what you have to offer is worth a lot more, then you’ll have great chances to get a better deal from someone else.
Word of advice: After you’ve turned down an offer and walked away, inform your counterpart that you’re willing to renegotiate if they come up with a better offer. If they really want what you’re offering, they’ll be back.
7. Taking risks
You can’t win if you’re not willing to take a risk. The world of business comes with a lot of tips and tricks and you can’t learn all of them in a day. Experience is attained after years of practice, and to win negotiations you need to make some mistakes first. If you’re a risk-taker and you like to bargain, your success rate is automatically boosted. It’s equally important to learn from other people’s mistakes. The best way to strengthen your skills is to be sure you’ll win. Even if the odds are not in your favor, it’s vital to take a risk. Negotiating a deal is like playing poker. The bigger bluff the higher the chances to prevail. That’s not a rule however, it’s a probability.
Word of advice: Be prepared for anything. You might think your Full House is good enough to win, but what will you do if your counterpart has a Four of a Kind hand? Always expect the unexpected.
There’s no exact recipe to win negotiations. Every business meeting is different, so it’s important for a negotiator to test the grounds first, and then start talking. Preparation, experience, and willingness to walk away, are vital. Without these three you can’t expect to succeed.
Want to be a master negotiator? How will these 7 tips to win negotiations help you?
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