Negotiation is always an opportunity to add value to your business, and having strong negotiation skills is a surefire way to become more successful in your career.
Strong leaders know how to take control of a negotiation and make it happen on their terms.
There’s no single way to negotiate in all situations, and there’s plenty of room for individuality. But there are some general trends among great negotiators.
1. Prepare Yourself
The simplest way to get a leg up during negotiations is also one of the most commonly recommended negotiation strategies, yet it’s also one of the most neglected.
Preparing for situations that may come up will help you be ready for a variety of possibilities.
Leave Time for Research
Becoming thoroughly prepared takes time, so don’t expect to be able to cram everything in immediately before the negotiation.
First, you should do everything you can to learn about the other business and negotiator.
Check out their online presence to look at press releases, social media pages, and evidence of any similar deals.
This context will be invaluable at the negotiating table.
Knowing the leverage available on each side, and the situation of the client or supplier, can help you keep the discussion on terms favorable to you and give you an idea of what to expect going into the negotiation.
2. Avoid Conceding Without Getting Something Back
If you’re approaching a situation from unfavorable circumstances, giving up some of what you want from a deal can seem inevitable. This is the case to an extent, but it doesn’t mean that you have to blindly accept whatever the other side wants.
Sticking up for your needs and wants will send a strong message.
Don’t Become Attached to a Deal
Part of this dynamic includes being ready to walk away, one of the most difficult negotiation tactics to actually use.
One way to make this possibility easier is to enter the room with a defined idea of your parameters, including your goals for the negotiation as well as the point at which you’ll simply leave the table.
Leave Your Options Open
You’ll also hold significantly more power at the bargaining table if you are negotiating with multiple parties at once.
If you’ve committed to a single partner, you’ve limited your options and given them the ability to dictate the terms of any potential agreements.
3. Don’t Accept Their Initial Offer
If you accept the other side’s first offer, you haven’t really negotiated at all.
In fact, there’s a strong possibility that an accepted initial offer will lead the other side to believe they could have gotten more out of the deal, leading them to rescind it.
The client or supplier is likely bringing an initial offer to the table that’s better for them than they expect you to accept, and you should do the same.
Consider leaving yourself some room to negotiate and having a number in advance that you’re not willing to go beyond.
Again, if there’s no common ground, you may have to walk away.
Negotiation is easy to learn, yet difficult to master. The best way to improve your craft is simply through practice.
That said, these quick tips can have a significant effect on your negotiating skills.
Master these basic negotiating practices and you’ll be substantially more prepared to make the best deal possible.
How Can Leaders Be Great at Negotiation?
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