Does the art of negotiation seem far too complicated? Use these simple negotiation tips and techniques to help you close the deal.
Negotiation is often like an ancient art form, some sort of Zen mental jujitsu. But when neither the Zen nor the science works, no one wins.
Negotiations can seem as complex as physics, and in fact, many people take negotiation courses to study the science of negotiating just as they would the laws of nature.
However, victory in negotiations isn’t so much an exact science or a mystic sixth sense. It’s more about simple know-how and common sense. These simple negotiating tips will help you score all of the benefits of negotiation and close the deal.
1. Choose the right place
The place where the negotiations take place is crucial. Some people believe that negotiating in your home base will make you more comfortable and confident during the process.
Others believe that negotiating in your opponent’s home base can provide you with valuable insights about them and what to expect during the negotiation process.
Yet others feel it’s better to choose a neutral place. Just choose the one that works best for you and be confident no matter what.
2. Set your goal before you begin
Don’t jump into a negotiation cold. Before you even face off with your opponent, figure out for yourself what would count as a victory. What do you exactly want out of the trade — and at what price?
If you’re the buyer, offer a lowball price. If you win, you won’t be out too much, and if you lose, it won’t leave a mark either. But be certain, if you play this game. You could miss this opportunity without a guarantee of future prospects.
If you’re the seller, go for the higher offer. You have to start from more. In that way you will have more space for shifts. You have to set these goals before the beginning of the negotiations.
3. Know your enemy
Coaches and players spend hours before games watching films of their impending competition to study their tendencies. You need to take the same approach when it comes to making a deal.
Try to read your opponent’s mind. What are their goals in the negotiation? Do they have any strengths that they can use against you? Are there any weaknesses that you can use against them?
Learn everything about the other side, their financial status, older negotiation results, other deals they have done, the arguments you expect they could possibly develop.
During your research, you may find that this particular vendor isn’t the only one in the game who has what you’re looking for. Using other vendors, and their prices, to your advantage can help you skate circles around your competitor.
4. Practice before you play
Research the other side and the deal before you make a play. This knowledge, such as the going price and quality markers, can work as leverage during negotiations.
Don’t accept the first offer. The first offer is almost never the last. You will get a better one if you insist. Focus on your strong arguments and on the other side’s weak arguments.
By doing this, you will have the upper hand and gain more in the outcome of the negotiation. Do not let the opposite happen or you will lose more than you expect.
5. Translate thought into action
Your negotiation strategies can become more complicated and unpredictable — and effective — once you’re in the heat of battle. Just remember to think on your feet and remember all that you learned in your negotiation skills training.
For instance, if you know that the vendor has other items for sale besides your target, agree easily to one of these other purchases.
6. Go for the easy one first
That will lure them into trusting you and giving you an easy pass on future, and more important, deals. When it comes down to it, negotiation skills are all about give and take.
It works out best when both parties get what they want out of the deal, without feeling ripped off and that they gave too much for too little. That brings us to the one “don’t” of negotiating.
7. Don’t fear a standoff
Standoffs are part of the art of negotiation, so don’t be tempted to show your hand just to break the deadlock. Instead, let your opponent make the first move. They will.
Don’t forget, they want to close the deal, too. Avoid early concessions. Don’t accept no as an answer. Try to be the last who give up. It’s been proved that no can be transformed to yes with the appropriate arguments.
Don’t be impatient. If the deal is very important, be prepared for long and tiring negotiation process. If you’re in hurry to close it you will have to give more in order to do that.
8. Don’t try to be pleasant
Stay focused on your goals during the negotiation and do not let the conversation go beyond that. Don’t try to be pleasant. It’s true that most people want to be pleasant and popular, but this is not appropriate during the negotiation process.
Don’t be the one who talks too much. Small talk is the last thing you need. The more you talk, the more your opponent will know about you.
During the negotiations you will often have to say No and displease your opponent. If you can’t handle that, let someone else take over that unpleasant task.
9. Don’t take it personally
A negotiation is not a personal matter, so there’s no need to take it personally and get angry if it’s not going as you hoped it would. The other negotiator is a human too. You can be a tough negotiator without being hostile.
After all, the purpose of a successful negotiation is to close a deal or reach an agreement without nasty disputes, blow-ups, or hip checks. This ensures that both parties are free to do business again in the future.
10. Know when to pass
It may not even be worth dropping the puck at all. In other words, negotiations, like hockey games, can end in a loss for the home team – that’s you.
So weigh this risk before you start. If the item at hand is a dream buy, you may not want to endanger your purchase with a drawn-out negotiation process.
On the other hand, if the item is far from attractive — and you’re pretty sure something better will come along later — you could pass on the negotiations. Or go for the score.
Although it’s not easy to become a professional negotiator, since it requires knowledge and experience, anyone can take a negotiation skills training course and learn better communication and negotiation skills.
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