Negotiating techniques like all techniques in any practice can be developed and perfected over time. Not everyone is born with innate negotiation skills. But it is a very valuable skill to hone because it can pay dividends throughout your life.
From the small business owner to the kid throwing a tantrum, our everyday lives require us to constantly negotiate. Whether it’s getting the best deal on a purchase or closing a big deal, learning how to effectively negotiate can help you stand out and achieve a bigger impact.
With the right techniques in your pocket, you can confidently guide conversations to satisfying conclusions that are a win-win for everyone involved.
Here are five negotiation techniques that will help you close the deal:
Research and Prepare
Preparing and researching are two fundamental keys to achieving success in any area of life. Negotiations are no exception. Before any negotiation process begins, be prepared to support your negotiation strategy and defend your position.
During this step, you will also establish and gain an understanding of your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). It is crucial to realize and accept what your best alternative is before entering into a negotiation so you can see what it is like if an agreement cannot be reached. And how far you are willing to go to reach an agreement. Being clear about this will help you set limits and set the foundation for the discussion.
Extensive research will also provide a ton of insight into the wants and needs of the other party. This insight will help you engage and find common ground, build rapport with the involved parties, and reach the desired outcomes.
Active Listening & Open Communication
The ability to listen actively is fundamental to establishing healthy and clear communication. In high-pressure, tense situations like negotiations, these tactics are vital. Being aware of the subtle verbal and non-verbal cues will also help you decide on the first offer and get on the same page faster. The best negotiators talk less and listen more. They ask open-ended questions and really hear the other side.
To practice active listening, it is essential to pay attention to the person who is speaking and try to understand their perspective without interrupting. We can also ask questions to clarify what is being said and show our interest and focus.
Anticipate Compromise and Be Flexible
When it comes to reaching an agreement, it’s important to anticipate that there will be compromises, and a bit of give and take. Before any draft agreement is drawn up, parties will need to barter a bit before they can agree or reach a final offer. While it’s natural to want the bigger advantage, it’s rare for any of the parties involved to get everything they want without having to make some adjustments.
For this reason, it is important to go into a negotiation with an open mind and be prepared to make some concessions. Being open to compromises will force you to focus on other creative solutions. At the end of the day, the goal is to get to a middle ground that benefits every person involved.
Offer & Expect Commitment
In most negotiations, accepting the deals is only half of the work. Follow through and keeping to the contract is the other half. Even the best negotiation techniques will result in a breakdown if the final offer arbitration is not seen through. The glue that keeps deals from unraveling is an unshakable guarantee to deliver. Offer this benefit to others and avoid deals where the other side does not demonstrate this virtue.
When we begin a personal or professional relationship, it is important to set clear expectations of mutual commitment. Offering and expecting these guarantees also shows that we value the relationship and are committed to long-term success. By establishing a solid foundation of assurances, we can build a strong, long-lasting company and personal reputation.
Check Your Ego & Don’t Take It Personally
Sometimes we take things personally, which leads us to ignore reason and succumb to our emotions. Usually at a high price to ourselves and our business. It’s important to remember that the actions or words of others are not always directed toward us personally. Leaving the ego aside will allow us to see situations from different perspectives and understand others more easily. These tactics will also create a strictly goal-oriented environment. The best negotiators don’t want to get the credit for a successful deal. Their talent is in making the other side feel like the final agreement was all their idea.
Each successful negotiation is one more step in a path that helps build trust and credibility for yourself and your company and curate your self-advocacy. When we use these negotiation techniques and tactics, we ensure our results are beneficial for both sides.
Negotiating can be tricky so if you find yourself stuck or have any questions, reach out to the experts. Click here to learn more about negotiating techniques, mediator tactics, and more.