One of the most important skills in the business world is the ability to conduct successful negotiations. There is not one simple method that can be used to achieve negotiation success. To negotiate properly requires experience and an extensive amount of planning.
Spend the Bulk of Your Time Preparing
When heading into a negotiation, it goes without saying that you need to know what your desired goal is but also what you are willing to accept. Establishing a range of options that would satisfy you helps to create the parameters of a potential deal. Even more challenging is then trying to anticipate and estimate the parameters of your opponent. In the same way that you list your targets and reservation prices, you should go through the same exercise and try to understand what your opponent’s target is and his walk away point.
Act with Integrity and Avoid Those Who Don’t (if you can)
It is important to build trust and respect in a negotiation. By keeping your word, following through on terms you committed to and by thoroughly documenting the negotiation points, you will build trust and preserve your reputation.
Control Your Emotions
When it comes to negotiating, it’s important to control your emotions and not let them control you. The person who you negotiate with will watch your emotional responses to things they offer. If you reveal too much and they are a keen observer they may learn more than you would like them to know.
As part of effective negotiations, it is helpful to think about the responses you will receive from your offers. It is important to prepare a counter point for each anticipated response. During the negotiation process, your opponent may argue the validity of your points. Countering with a well-planned response can help to put you in control of the situation.
Know When You have a Deal
When you’ve achieved a good deal, it’s important to know when to agree; however, before wrapping up the negotiation it is wise to try to explore and reveal common ground from which you can both benefit. For instance, you may be able to add terms by sharing additional information that expands the pie. After all, a smaller share of a bigger pie would likely trump the inverse.