Negotiating Techniques

“Never begin a deal, a battle or a love affair if the fear of losing overshadows the prospect of winning.”
Aristotle Onassis, shipping tycoon.

Good negotiation methods and skills are important for the success of any company and there is a popular belief in the business world that negotiation is an actual art. Although some people appear to be naturally talented negotiators, this does not mean that these skills cannot be trained and improved. Here are some suggestions that could help you improve your negotiating skills and techniques.

Set your priorities before starting negotiations. If needed, write everything down and make a list of items ordered by their importance. Draw a line on that list or select the things that are really important for you and choose the ones you are ready to sacrifice in order to make a deal. Once you have that list in front of you, it should be easier to make a decision on whether or not some deal is worth making or it would be better to politely end the negotiation once the things go below your interest limit.

Learn about the other side before the meeting. Knowing more details about their industry as well as about their management habits and priorities may benefit you through the process of sealing the deal with them. So, if possible, try to discover their priorities. By knowing their goals, it might come easier to offer them an exception that is not that important for you but is important for the other side, which might result in making a deal beneficial for both sides. The best deals are made when both sides leave the table happy and get something they both wanted.

Share some information first. No matter how relevant that information is for the actual deal you are negotiating about, sharing some information, either business related or personal related can set the mood for the whole meeting and build some trust. Once you show that you are ready to share some trust, the meeting should go a lot smoother.

Set the limits and know when to stop. Always be prepared to leave the table if you see that you can’t get more than what you have set as the minimum interest for your side. Sometimes even a sign that you are ready to leave the negotiation may cause the other side to reconsider and make another offer.

Try to throw the first offer. According to some research studies, it appears that negotiations quite frequently focus on the first offer that was on the table. While a lot of people believe that they should wait with the offer and try to get some information from the other side first, the statistics show that those companies which made the first offer have come out from deals with a higher success rate. When the main focus of negotiations is the price, the first price thrown to the table is usually the one that both sides take as a starting point, so better make a good one.

Do not show emotions, keep a calm poker face. Showing too much excitement may cause the other side to think they gave you too much and they might back up in the last moment. So keep your poker face until everything is settled.

As a final word, some of these negotiating methods may vary depending on the country and region in the world where you are negotiating. Some cultures are completely different and may require some additional research to be made so you could be prepared the best way possible. While these negotiating skills and techniques may help you get some deal done, you should not restrict to these tips only. Each business and niche may be slightly different so always be ready to adjust yourself along the way.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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