People are used to associating negotiations with strategies. Although that might be accurate on a certain level, it would imply that the concept of negotiation is an honorable talent loaded with skills and gamesmanship rather than thorough investigation abilities and hard work. Of course, there are some gaming elements that apply to the business world too, mostly when it comes to achievements and transactions.
Smart strategies are not always that smart
During the last decades, it has been continuously stated that gamesmanship is the foundation for a thriving negotiation, and that’s not entirely true, particularly nowadays when the economy is not in a very good condition. It’s wrong to suppose that if you use the right strategies or apply the proper regulations during a negotiation you’ll obtain excellent results. The truth is that certain strategies might be useful for one deal, but completely useless for another.
Don’t take things personally
Every business individual has negotiation skills, so you shouldn’t feel offended by the statements of your counterparts. While certain techniques and smooth and easy to swallow, others are more aggressive and they might intimidate you. Always have in mind that business is business, so there shouldn’t be hard feelings between two business individuals.
Everything is negotiable
Just because a certain deal is hard to negotiate doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Treat every situation as the ultimate challenge and do your best to showcase your smartest skills. Communicate with your counterparts, state your demands, be understanding, agree with everything they’re saying, and don’t back down. Even if you don’t have the advantage you can still get a win-win deal.
Do your homework
Never start a negotiation without proper information of your counterparts. To understand what they want, it’s important to know their point of view as well. Learn more about your opponent’s business and you might be able to get his perspective.
In negotiations patience is a virtue. You can’t win if you’re eager to get the job done. Be a good listener, pretend that you sympathize with your associates and you’ll have a lot to gain. Talk about your demands and try not to exaggerate with your terms. If you’re patient enough your counterpart might lose focus and that will your moment to take advantage.
A good negotiator shouldn’t settle for less than he deserves, so if you want to win at negotiating make sure to aim high. Of course this doesn’t mean you can come up with an outrageous offer, so it’s additionally important to be reasonable.
Assess your position
In every type of business negotiation someone has a stronger position. Which one are you? To have an advantage you must always speak your mind first. Draw the terms of the bargain and don’t let your counterpart intimidate you in any way.
Be ready to compromise
Compromise should come as your last resort. When two parties of a negotiation can’t seem to reach an agreement, you need to let your guard down to get the job done. Otherwise, your opponent will give up. Negotiating it’s not always about winning the biggest share of the pie; it’s about win-win solutions that can benefit both you and your counterpart.
Be a good listener
Every competent negotiator should also be a good listener. Even if you don’t care about your opponent’s personal opinions you must still support them. Don’t forget to ask questions to seem interested and thus you’ll manage to create a personal relation as well. If your counterpart feels comfortable around you, he might be willing to accept your offer even if it’s a bit over the top.
Keep things professional
Every business negotiation should start and end on good terms, no matter what. Keep your integrity and don’t turn a negotiation meeting into a scandal. A lot of people have this tendency to raise their voice and impose authority to be sure they get the better deal. If that happens to you, keep things professional and inform your counterpart as calmly as possible that the deal is off.
If you want to be a winning negotiator, the above mentioned tricks will certainly be of great assistance. Never take things personally and always focus on your goal if you want to be good at your job.
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