5 Tips To Negotiate Better
Five Tips To Negotiate Better Deals
By Mark Wager
The success of a business can be determined by the quality of its negotiations. The ability to get the best deal possible can make or break a business which makes negotiating skills among the most valuable that any businessman can have. In this article I explore some of the key tips that will help out on any negotiating situation.
Tip One: Focus on being business partners and not business rivals
The most common mistake I see people make during a negotiation is when they focus on a win-lose outcome when the most successful negotiations are win-win. If both parties can walk away feeling that they have a good deal and the process has been fair and respectful then the chances of getting what you want increases dramatically not only in the immediate negotiation but also in any future negotiations. Too often I see people use negotiation techniques to grind down and bully the other party in order to get what they think is a great deal when in fact they are unaware of the damage caused to their reputation with the other party and anyone else who could possibly want to negotiate with them in the future. Don't allow your negotiation to get clouded by a win-lose mentality and never forget that negotiation is never a one off situation. Negotiation is always episodic. The person or company you are negotiating with is not a rival, they are your business partner, you both want something from each other so the best outcome will happen when you work alongside each other rather than against each other.
Tip Two: Talk about commonality
Negotiations can be stressful and in times of stress human beings are naturally attracted to form alliances with people who they find commonality so in order to make sure everyone involved in the negotiation is focused on what is right and moving forward then go out of your way to stress what you both agree on. If you both want the same outcome but disagree on how to reach that outcome then talk about the outcome. Also talk about what else you have in common even if it goes behind the deal, your beliefs, family, upbringing. Another technique is to get people to say "Yes" or "I agree" as many times as possible obviously without it becoming awkward. Research has shown that the more people say "yes" or "I agree" the more likely it is that parties walk away from a negation with a good deal because the more you say "yes" the more uncomfortable it is for the other to say "no".
Tip Three: The law of reciprocity
If you are not familiar with the theory of the law of reciprocity then you have certainly encountered it many times even if you weren't aware of it. The law of reciprocity says that people have a tendency to give back to people the nature of treatment that they have received from them. If you treat someone kindly they are more likely to return that kindness. Research has shown that this law actually influences people's decision making. In one experiment by Professor Dennis Reagan at Cornell University they studied how many people bought raffle tickets from a stranger, in one scenario the stranger just asked if the person wanted to buy a raffle ticket and in the other the stranger went away and gave the person a soft drink. The people who received the soda bought twice as many raffle tickets than the people who didn't receive the soft drink. In a negotiation remember if you want someone to give you something or do something then find a way to give them or do something for them.
Tip Four: Know your WATNA & BATNA
Unless you are a certified meditator or you have attended one of my advanced leadership workshops then you wouldn't have encountered the terms WATNA and BATNA. They stand for worst alternative to a negotiated agreement and best alternative to a negotiated agreement. This is vital for any negotiation. Before you start you need to be fully aware of what's the worst thing that can happen if the negotiation falls apart and what's the best thing that can happen if the negotiations falls apart this makes you realise what is truly at stake and at what point you will need to walk away from the negotiation table. This is not a time for bluffing it's a time to be truthful to yourself about the strength of your negotiating position and the strength of the other sides. I've seen many people get caught in prolonged negotiation because they have an unrealistic idea of what will happen if negotiation fails.
Tip Five: Take negotiation seriously but not personally
Negotiations can get stressful and with stress brings emotions which can impact people decision making and jeopardise a successful outcome for all parties. I've seen many businessmen fail because they get distracted by personal issues or feelings, a lot of time due to the personality of the other party. To be successful in negotiation you need to focus on reaching an agreement which addresses the needs of all parties in a respectful and fair way. Never allow the personality of someone damage the negotiation, try to understand and appreciate their position and focus on the outcome. Achieve this and you will achieve success in business.
Never underestimate the importance of negotiation because the very future of your business can be determined by how well you negotiate your next deal. These are just some basic tips that will get you good results but shouldn't be taken as an overall strategy. If you want to know more and learn how to achieve astonishing results feel free to contact me or even invite me to come into your business to talk to everyone.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Posted: Monday 5 December 2016