Negotiation skills are valuable in any company, from both an internal and external perspective. Their obvious application is negotiating favorable deals with clients. But the ability to reach amicable agreements with other company employees is also important.

Companies that foster negotiation are likely to see better teamwork, more driven employees, and more success closing contracts. The best way to build negotiation skills is by practicing them in-house. Set aside time to go over some negotiating exercises with your team. The low stress environment will allow your employees to ask questions and arm themselves with successful negotiation techniques.

Let’s look at some activities that make a good starting point for building strong negotiation skills.

The Mock Business Negotiation

The ability to negotiate with prospective clients is crucial to growing your company. Have your team pair off into several groups of equal numbers. Assign each group as either your own business, or as clients from a niche your company often does business with.

Make sure to provide the teams representing your company with time to research their opponent’s niche. It’s important they understand their opponent’s market as much as your company’s.

Next, give the company team parameters that they must meet for a successful negotiation. These can vary based on what specific things your company looks to negotiate in contracts.

Finally, reverse the roles and play out the exercise again. It’s important to understand both sides of the negotiation process.

The Team Project Negotiation

This exercise focuses on team building and negotiating at the same time. Team based projects run into problems when members with different viewpoints don’t agree. Usually, this results in people butting heads, or one person taking over the project. Neither of these options are good for creativity and problem solving.

Split your employees into teams focused on finishing one task. Assign each employee different methods of completing the task, and make it clear that they must stick to their methods.

The goal is for each team member to contribute part of their method to the end solution. This will involve making concessions and negotiating which parts of each method to utilize.

Not only does this increase negotiation skills, but it strengthens employee relations by ensuring everyone problem solves without conflict.

The Prepared Client Plan

Have your employees work together to prepare for a mock negotiation. They will play the role of your company, while you play the role of the client. This gives your team a chance to try out new negotiation techniques. It helps to give them a list of things to try before hand, so the exercise isn’t wasted on poor tactics.

Let them know about “anchor” prices, or setting the first offer exceptionally high so a client must negotiate down.

Also ensure they probe you for why you’re initiating a negotiation, as the end result of a contract is already known. Use the team setting to bolster employee confidence for future negotiations.

With these exercises, your team should have no problem negotiating whatever comes their way.

How Can You Get Your Team To Negotiate?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Nick Rojas
Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.
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