People who are not used to negotiations are afraid to negotiate because they’re influenced by several common myths of the trade. These are ingrained and widespread, yet this doesn’t mean they’re true. Believing unfounded allegations and claims with no meaning can stop you from growing in business. Nobody knows everything at the bargaining table, and this is a fact. But you must learn to mold your demands, expectations, and needs in order to close a successful deal. Here are 9 myths you might want to avoid though.
1. Negotiation is about winning or losing
This is probably the most common myth about negotiations. A lot of people wrongfully assume that bargaining for something is about winning or losing, and that there’s no other alternative. Well, there is and it is called a win-win solution. Successful deals can happen even when all the parties involved compromise to reach an agreement.
2. Negotiation is a natural-born skill
False! It can’t be a natural-born skill. Negotiation is a skill that has to be learned in order to be mastered. The more you bargain with people and close deals (good ones and bad ones) the higher chances to have to gain experience and become a professional. A lot of people wrongfully presume that excellent negotiators are born and not made. They’re wrong! One needs years and years of practice before they can master this art.
3. Negotiators must be aggressive to win
Another myth that has been debunked over and over again; aggressiveness can help and it is often used by business people to take charge and intimidate opponents, but this is not the best approach to use when you want to win in negotiation. An assertive attitude can backfire. It could have many negative effects, thus convincing opponents to disagree and even walk away from a negotiation.
4. Lying can help you get out of a challenging situation
Believe it or not, a lot of people lie in business. This practice is used when an opponent has questions for you that you can’t answer. Making stuff up and bragging with unreal achievements has negative effects in the long term. Telling lies, or resorting to some other unethical negotiation strategies, will eventually make an opponent lose trust. Why should you put your credibility and reputation in jeopardy when you can just be honest?
5. Being nice means you are naïve
There’s no such thing as naiveté in business. And yet there are people who believe that nice guys end up last. That’s not the case. A kind, optimistic and positive attitude at the negotiation table doesn’t exude innocence; it says a lot about a person’s character. He/she may be nice on the outside, but likability can’t be translated into stupidity. Let’s not judge people after first appearances!
6. Negotiation is about winning more money
No, it’s not! Unfortunately, many still believe that walking to a business negotiation is all about getting more money than your opponent. Negotiating also means giving non-financial things up to get non-financial incentives in return; certain companies would rather end a deal with a mutual collaboration, a long-term partnership rather than receive more money, walk away and never speak to that company again.
7. Win-win deals are for losers
Associating win-win deals with loss is a mistake. In fact, a mutual agreement can bring a lot more benefits than a win-lose. Some companies want to negotiate in the hopes of building connections; In this case win-win deals means that you compromised but have invested in a long-term cooperation that could help you become more famous and improve bottom line.
8. Negotiation has clear rules one must follow
There’s no exact recipe for success in business negotiations. Yes, there are strategies one may choose to use, but most of the time people go with their gut. They act on an instinct, although they do with poise, determination and professionalism. It is important to enter meetings prepared; but success is not guaranteed of you adhere to the rules without adapting to a given scenario.
9. Negotiating is simple/difficult
Some people dread negotiations, others love them. In either case, you are never advised to take things for granted. A negotiation may seem easy/difficult on the outside, but prior to jumping in make sure you are prepared with facts. That’s all you need to succeed. Making assumptions can have a lot of negative effects. A certain deal may appear easy to close; be careful and whatever you do, don’t lose your temper.
Professional post By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!