Negotiation is an art that very few people can understand. It’s a special skill that influences lives, so only the toughest will master it. Dealing with customers, investors and suppliers is easier said than done, especially in the business environment. The secret to winning negotiations is to “read” your opponent. Assess body language and become an active listener if you want to land the best deal. Negotiating with business partners demands fortitude, commitment and patience. Do you have what it takes to win? Here are some tips to help you ace negotiations when closing business deals.
Talk less during a business negotiation and you’ll have a lot to win. Too much chitchatting can backfire when you’re trying to close a good deal. The more you talk the better chances your opponent has to beat you with your own guns. It’s amazing how much useful information you can obtain from someone just by keeping quiet. Allow your opponent to start a conversation and don’t interrupt him; pay close attention to his allegations, and if you sense that he’s making unfounded questions, ask for clearance.
Be the one to do the talking
If on the other hand, you’d like to do the talking, make sure your words have meaning. Studies have shown that the brain goes into a trance when facing verbal barrage. During one-on-one negotiations, this can work beautifully. A lot of business negotiators are good at talking; but that’s it. Their speech doesn’t have meaning, and they often end up mentioning facts and figures that don’t exist or are irrelevant to the negotiation in questioning. Talking that is meant to fill in empty air is not good for business, so whatever comes out of your mouth has to be backed up by solid proof, each and every time.
Do your homework
One can’t ace business negotiations if the information held is not solid enough. Good negotiators will never enter a meeting unprepared. It’s important to have the data in order to feel in control. Solid information gives you bargaining power, and the more you know the higher chances you have to persuade opponents to compromise. However, try not to confuse compromise with manipulation, do whatever you can to reach common ground. Mutual agreements foster relationships and solid relationships with trustworthy business partners can help your business attain worldwide recognition.
Use open-ended questions
Open-ended questions makes opponents believe that you’re willing to listen and learn. Avoid questions that begin with a verb, such as “Is this ok?” or “Is the offer on the table good enough?” and go for questions like “How do I make this better?” or “Are there any changes required in the current offer?” This way you leave room for improvement. Your opponent will notice that you’re willing to learn and further negotiations are in order, too.
Avoid lies at all costs
Nothing good can come out from telling lies when negotiating a business deal. If you don’t know what you say, talk less and allow your opponent to take the lead; but under no circumstances distort the truth because sooner or later someone will notice you just told a lie. Stay focused on facts and if there’s something you don’t like, say it out loud. Negotiating is directly linked to collaborating, so you shouldn’t be ashamed of the things you know nothing about.
Pay attention to body language
Some people talk with their body language, and in business this can either help them, or destroy them. Nervousness and anxiety lead to an erratic behavior, while calmness and composure make you look professional and experienced. Assess your opponent’s behavior by allowing him talk first. This will give you an idea about his personality, as well as his general opinion about the business deal on the table.
There’s no exact recipe to winning negotiations. However, there are ways of turning a business meeting to your advantage. Enter negotiations prepared with information, talk less and listen more. Engage in a conversation and maintain a professional attitude; let opponents sense your business spirit but don’t raise your voice to exude power. Build a connection by looking for things you’ve got in common. It’s ok to let your guard down and relate to business partners, as long as you don’t forget the scope of the deal.
Professional Post By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!