Negotiation is a skill that can make or break agreements, shape alliances and ultimately determine the success of your business. The art of negotiating is essential to achieving your business goals, whether you’re trying to secure a multi-million pound deal, competing for a promotion or just trying to get better terms with your suppliers. Effective negotiation, however, is an art form that requires a careful balancing act between strategy, communication, and interpersonal refinement.
Although navigating the complexities of negotiation can be difficult, doing so can have a significant positive impact on your personal and business life. If you’re struggling with how to approach negotiation, or don’t feel you have the confidence to give it a go stick around because today, we will give you five useful tips for improving your negotiation skills to get better results!
Know the Facts
Prepare yourself with facts before engaging in a negotiation. Gather as much information as you can about the subject of negotiations. Additionally, you need to ask yourself some challenging questions. Such as:
- Why do you want to make this deal?
- Why does the other side want to do it?
- Who benefits from the deal and why?
Once you’ve asked yourself these difficult questions you can make an effort to obtain information that will help both your position and the other parties. Having the facts puts you in a powerful and confident position.
Know What You Want to Achieve
Great negotiators know what they want from the conversation beforce entering into said discussion. They are also aware of their own boundaries. The majority of effective negotiators, if not all of them, have a point at which they will walk away. If you aren’t prepared to back out of a deal, you might end up setting yourself up for a sub-optimal deal.
Be aware from the start that you’re not going to win on every point of the negotiation. Decide in advance which elements are crucial and which ones you’re ready to give up. Additionally, never ever give in after your ‘walk-away’ point. It’s always better to lose a lousy deal than to close one!
Look for the Win-Win Scenario
Often, when we think of negotiation or doing a deal, we view it as a zero-sum game where one party wins and the other loses. Successful negotiators, however, view each negotiation as a win-win for each party.
For instance, in a salary negotiation, the business might not be willing to negotiate the salary because the employee wants a higher amount than what they can offer. The best way to achieve a ‘win-win’ situation is to look for innovative solutions to fill the gap. Maybe the employer can offer benefits outside of monetary compensation like a flexible work schedule, more annual leave or nursery reimbursement that won’t cost the company much but are very valuable to the individual.
Effective Communication Skills
Any negotiation depends on clear, unambiguous communication. To effectively communicate your ideas, demands, and recommendations, you must do it with clarity and assurance. Avoid using jargon or complex language that could confuse your counterpart and obfuscate your goals. Nonverbal cues such as body language can actually convey more than words. So, pay attention to eye contact, movements and composure. If you want to seem more confident and reliable, you should maintain eye contact throughout the negotiation, sit up straight and ensure your arms aren’t crossed.
Reach an Agreement
The best negotiator can prepare and strategise to their hearts content, but without an agreement or deal, their efforts are fruitless. Failure to reach agreement often happens when the other side can’t reach a decision. Although there are various sources of indecision, as a negotiator you should be prepared for this beforehand. Early on in the negotiation, agree on the decision-making process. Establish a timeline, talk about the requirements and discuss any obstacles that might prevent the final agreement from being authorised or carried out.
In conclusion, the ability to negotiate well is crucial in the corporate world. You can improve your negotiating abilities and raise your chances of success by knowing the facts, developing your communication skills, being innovative and knowing when to walk away. These suggestions will act as helpful guiding principles on your journey to becoming an effective negotiator in the competitive business world. If you would like further guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.