Many experts argue that negotiation is art. That is because we’re talking about a process that tends to reveal people’s inherent capabilities of winning things. To some extent, negotiation is the most incredible thing you can achieve in using your wits and charm. Of course, there’s more to negotiations than meets the eye, and to some people this is not just a game of losing and winning. Some business individuals don’t see negotiations as a battle; in their vision, it is cooperation, a two-way communication process with winners.
Here are 5 tips to help you succeed:
- Is there something that you want? Ask for it.
Skilled negotiators are used to challenge everything. They’re assertive individuals who are aware that everything’s negotiable. These people are “negotiation conscious”. Basically, this is what differentiates experienced negotiators from everyone else. Assertiveness is paramount in the negotiation process. Why? Because it indicates that you’re ready to whatever’s necessary to persuade an opponent to bargain. A lot of practice may be required for you to succeed. For instance, you can’t afford to let your emotions get the best of you.
Experienced negotiators have the most impenetrable attitude. Nobody can read on their faces if they’re angry, irritated, afraid, frustrated, and so on. However, it’s equally important not to confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness. Nobody wants to deal with forceful negotiators, so you might want to keep that in mind.
- Research matters the most
You will never win negotiations if you enter a meeting unprepared. Before the beginning of the business assembly, make sure you’ve gathered valuable information on your opponent. Be specific and have your numbers right. Equally, know the ins and outs of your company, too, and be ready to answer a lot of questions. As long as you’ve done your homework there’s nothing an opponent can do or say to intimidate you.
Lack of preparation in business can destroy you, and believe it or not, many people (even the most experienced) enter negotiations unprepared. Some of these people wrongfully assume that chitchat can get them out of a bad situation. No way can that happen!
- Have patience
The business environment is more like a bloody battlefield – very few people have patience, and most of them want are in a hurry of closing negotiations fast. This is not really the most professional way of building business relationships. Speaking too fast and having an erratic behavior when bargaining for something may scare away counterparts.
Rather than talk fast and not give them the opportunity to ask questions (because they could barely understand what you said), why don’t you just relax? Be patient; let them talk too. Use patience to your advantage. A calm attitude can be devastating to an opponent who’s in a hurry. He will most likely make mistakes, and then you’ll have the upper hand to use unfounded allegations to your benefit.
- Aim high
Successful business negotiators are not afraid to aim as high as possible to get what they want. They’re optimists and they strongly believe that if they expect more, they can get more. Sellers must find the courage to ask for more than they would normally get; and buyers must offer less they would be willing to pay. It’s a proven fact that those who aim high have increased chances of success.
- Acknowledge the benefits of a mutual agreement
There’s a lot of competition in the business environment, and very few CEOs and entrepreneurs would say “yes” to a mutual agreement. Nevertheless, you must know that win-win solutions can bring a lot of benefits to your company. When you negotiate a 50/50 deal, it’s really important that you listen to everything your opponent has to say. Engage in a conversation and do your best to build a connection. Help each other out, and you’ll have the best chances of attaining success in your field of work.
Winning negotiations is not something impossible to attain as long as you’re prepared to deal with unexpected situations. Preparation is the key in this process, as well as behavior and attitude. You want opponents to treat you with respect and admiration, and that can only be achieved if you maintain a professional attitude from the start of the meeting up until the end.
Professional guest post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!