Learning the art of negotiation goes far beyond simply being convincing. In fact, it’s mostly about craftily manipulating the situation in your favour using tactics which may or may not be obvious to your counterpart. Negotiation is part of any and all aspects of business including helping you land the perfect job at your desired salary, better work contracts for clients, get the best price from vendors, and give you the know-how to improve customer relations. Honing these skills can help you take your business to the next level; here are some tips to mastering the art of negotiation...
Visualize Your Desired Outcome
A huge part of any strategic plan is knowing exactly where you want to end up once the task has been completed. Before heading out to your meeting, map out how you want the negotiations to go. For example, outline how you will begin the negotiations, how you would like the conversation to progress, possible pitfalls, and your most desirable outcome. Knowing your bottom line will help you to better navigate and "lead" the conversation.
Know Your Adversary
Don’t think adversary as negative; negotiations are not always hostile, but do think of the situation as competitive. Be prepared and research your adversary as much as possible before your set meeting for negotiations. Information regarding the outcome of past deals, the individual’s mannerisms, and their known tactics should be carefully gone over before negotiations begin.
Hold Your Head High
One of the worst, but often the most used, negotiation tactics is to discredit. Do not allow yourself or your ideas to be torn down by your adversary. To remove one’s weapons is to render them powerless to the situation. Stick to your guns, believe in yourself, and understand your worth. Being confident will stop your adversary from attempting to use this negotiation tactic so you can really get down to the business at hand and allow you to cut a deal you can both live with.
Don’t Shut Out Your Opponent
One of the most important parts of negotiating is listening. Listening to your opponent can help you make quick deductions on how the conversation is going. It will also alert you to your opponent’s major concerns regarding the deal, which provides you the opportunity to address them accordingly. As a rule of thumb, follow the 80/20 split during negotiations, especially if your opponent is leaning more toward a "no." The 80/20 split means you spend 80% of the time listening, 20% talking.
Keep Your Emotions at Bay
Heated deals can become personal, especially if your company’s survival depends on negotiations going your way. Keep a cool head, even when your opponent is purposefully attempting to get you heated. In the same respect, do not attempt to bully your opponent. This can cause your opponent to become alienated and they will become guarded, at which point the negotiation may not be salvageable.
Always lead with optimism. Once your opponent senses you are desperate or are caving, the conversation is essentially over. Be confident, not arrogant. This will show you understand your worth; overconfidence can threaten your adversary, turning negotiations hostile. As always, have respect for your opponent; respect will garner trust and a mutual trust between you and your opponent will help you both make a satisfactory deal.
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