5 proven winning guidelines to successful negotiating.
Negotiating is something we do all the time – with our kids, parents, spouses, bosses, customers – you name it – we are always negotiating.
Of course sometimes the “wins” in business are greater than a candy bar or borrowing the family car – as an entrepreneur it could be the terms of a lease or your products sales price or even resolving a matter with a co-worker or employee.
Try these guidelines to improve your “win” rate. The first few times it may seem forced or overly disciplined, but studies have proven these to be good guidelines for successful negotiating.
Here are five best negociated practices:
1. Take some time to think about the end results both parties want.
- This will help you anticipate the volleying of words that will occur during the negotiations.
- Decide on the “absolutely have to haves” and the points you can give on because you will not “win” on every point – that would not be a negotiation. Think through what the other party’s objections may be and role-play some of the responses that you could have to those objections.
- Put pen to paper and write these down as that will help you to prepare by solidifying the thoughts and your responses.
- This exercise will make you feel better prepared and therefore more confident.
2. Keep calm both verbally and in writing/e-mail.
- If you are very heated over some issues be careful not to let your emotions get heated as that will put the other party in “fight mode” and when that happens, successful negotiations are never possible.
- If you feel you are too emotional about an issue, either assign negotiations to someone else if that is possible or take some time away from the subject to get perspective. This is referred to as the 24 hour rule.
- This is important in verbal and written negotiations and especially before you hit send on an e-mail. I can guarantee that you will live to regret quick responses that are done with anger during the negotiation process.
- Staying calm is critical to successful negotiations.
3. The first offer is never the one you should take.
- You should always do at least “one round” when negotiating as you will never be able to go back and ask for a better offer. You should always counteroffer the first offer you receive and expect the same in return.
- That being said, learn to recognize when you are being a “piggish” negotiator and no demonstrating any ability to concede. That is not playing fair.
4. Ask questions to demonstrate that you are trying to understand your opponent’s position.
- The best question is always,
- “Can you tell me why this is important to you or your company?”
- or “Are you able to understand why I am struggling to accept your offer?’
- or “Why do you think that is a reasonable offer?”
These questions keep the conversation going and give you information about the thoughts in the mind of your opponent.
5. Get comfortable with “pregnant pauses”.
- There is an old saying that “he or she who speaks next loses.” Silence is uncomfortable for most – learn to allow it and don’t be “the next person to speak” after an offer is on the table.
- Work on the above and you are certain to become a better negotiator. Adopt the attitude that everything is negotiable and you will realize that it will be worth the effort to follow the above guidelines and hone in on your ability to negotiate.