Negotiation is a special art. In fact, real negotiation happens when both parties involved in the deal walk away feeling they’ve won. Negotiation isn’t about fighting a battle as you can learn in this course, it’s about solving a problem. Negotiation isn’t rocket science. It just takes some presence of mind and getting into the negotiation mind set. You can also learn to negotiate so that you become good at getting what you want, and good at getting people what they want too! Ultimately, developing your negotiation techniques will help you become a better employee, salesman, boss, husband and a better person in general.
Here are some techniques you can try out when you interact with other people in your everyday life. They’re not very hard to use. Just change the way you think a little, treat people better and you’re already a better negotiator.
This post will get you started, but you can learn even more with this course on the art of negotiation.
Be Willing to Negotiate
This piece of advice may sound redundant, but you’d be surprised at how easy negotiating becomes if you just keep yourself open to bargaining. If your attitude is “it’s either my way or the highway”, you’re hurting your own interests. Even if you don’t like negotiating and it makes you awkward, you should still try to, at least once. The other party, in most cases, will be more than willing to continue with the negotiations. People will always be looking out for their own interests and there is no reason why you shouldn’t do the same.
Understand the Even Trade
A good negotiator will always get what he or she wants, but not at the cost of hurting the other party’s interests. Remember, if both parties involved in the trade are happy with the outcome, then they will be more willing to consider trading in the future with you. If you’re going to buy a house but don’t think it’s worth the asking price, tell the other party what you think it’s worth. But don’t begin so low that it’s insulting. That’s how you start negotiating. You should have a price in mind that you cannot go beyond- a worst-case scenario price that you’re willing to pay. Then do everything possible to keep the price from reaching the worst-case scenario level.
The concept of even trade can be applied with your family as well. If you’re a parent, learn to give in to your children’s (more reasonable) demands once in a while. This will make them more tractable to your (more reasonable) demands in the future.
Preparing Yourself for Negotiating
The way you handle yourself during a negotiation will more often than not decide the outcome of the trade. If you appear too aggressive or impolite, the other party will shut down and drive a harder bargain. If you’re polite and willing to look at things from their point of view, they will probably be willing to return the favor. Learn to negotiate with a smile and be cheerful. A sour, serious demeanor won’t endear you to anyone. Learn to be confident, but not arrogant. If you’re not confident in your negotiating skills, prepare yourself before hand. It’s not hard to be confident when you know what you’re talking about. This is a great course for building confidence.
When starting a negotiation, try to focus on finding common ground. Think of a negotiation not as an argument but as a service that you can provide to the other person, which the other person will return. There are only winners in a deal – not a winner and a loser. You don’t have to win a negotiation.
And now we come to the negotiation itself. Start out being personable, and by being polite. Use the other party’s name whenever possible. If you don’t know, ask. The human element is what is important in a deal. If you’re looking for a discount, don’t demand one. Don’t ask if they have discounts available either. Just try asking “what is the discount for this item?” You can see that it’s not an open ended question, but it’s not a demand either.
If you’re working out a deal for a house, try to be a good listener and nod at all the appropriate places. The other party will, more often than not, will run out of good things to say about the house. Finally, they will ask you: “What do you think?” This is where you start negotiating.
Know what you’re looking for in an item, or a relationship, and tell the other party about your expectations. The other party will respect your honesty and tell you if their product can match your expectations. In many cases, they may offer you an alternative product. The price is important, it’s true, but it’s not everything.
After a Negotiation
So you’re getting what you want. Congratulations! Before you celebrate, thank the other party. Be polite and grateful. This will ensure other deals will come your way in the future. If the negotiations didn’t go the way you planned, be grateful and thank them for their time. Don’t burn bridges. Sometimes the other party will go home, think about what you said and accept your offer the following day – but they won’t do that if you were rude to them. Finally, don’t feel let down if negotiations fail. You will get more opportunities in the future – and you current failure will help you prepare for them.
These are simple techniques that will serve you well in any negotiation. However if you need help with special situations you can check out some of our courses like this one on how to negotiate for a raise or promotion, or the highly specialised course on how to negotiate successfully in China. Like we said earlier, negotiating well is an art that comes in handy in every walk of life.