Negotiation is crucial in business. Studies have shown that people who know the art of negotiation are 60 percent more successful than those who don’t know. Here are 5 tips that can help you to improve your negotiation skills:
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1. Don’t mix personal feelings with the problem
People and problems are two basic components in a negotiation. According to Roger Fisher and William Ury, founders of Harvard Negotiation Project, one of the four principles in negotiation is to separate the people from the problems. That means people should deal separately with their relationship issues (e.g. perceptions, emotions, communication) and substantive issues (e.g. terms, dates, figures). With other words, don’t take responses to an issue as personal attacks.
What can you do regarding the relationship issues:
-try to understand your negotiation partner point of view
-acknowledge your emotions and understand their source
-be an active listener to avoid misunderstandings during the conversation
2. Be prepared
This includes to know very well what you want to obtain as well as who is your negotiation partner, what are his pressures and options. With this information you will feel more powerful and it will help you focus on the other side’s pressure, not yours.
3. Let the other side go first
Sometimes when you let the other person to make the offer first you will be surprised to find that the other side expects to pay, or sell, at a better price that you have thought to obtain. However, this tactic is used by many people, especially by the buyers, so be prepared to found other persons trying to use it.
4. Use silence and listening as tools
People tend to speak too much in order to make sure that their point of view was understood. A good negotiator will speak only the important matters and will listen more. By listening you have the chance to find a lot of things about your partner. Use silence when you receive an offer, don’t rush to respond immediately. The partner will come up with more info or another offer, because he will try to fill the silence.
5. Build a relationship
That means you should not take too much from, and should not give too much in a negotiation. In both cases your business relationships suffer. When you give too much because you fear not to offend the other person, you will lose respect from the negotiation partner and he will take advantage of it. Besides, you will feel demoralized. Once you will get to this point it will be harder to maintain a friendly helpful business relationship. On the other hand, don’t try to obtain everything and deceive the other person. In the future it is possible he will avoid dealing with you.
As a brief conclusion: a healthy negotiation lets both parts with the feeling they won something.
Fell free to share any other insights on business negotiation tactics below.
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