Negotiation happens on a daily basis whether we are aware of it or not. Whether we are “negotiating” with our children to get them to wear the items we want or are trying to get our significant other to choose our favorite restaurant for dinner, persuasion is something we all use in our personal life. Negotiation also happens to be the key to true business success. There is no company or business on the face of the planet that has succeeded without some form of negotiations, and quite frankly there never will be.
As someone who speaks to entrepreneurs and business owners on a frequent basis, I understand how important negotiation is to the bottom line. In a corporate career it is likewise important. But I would argue that negotiation is not something we should be afraid of or look at as some evil entity. It is an art form. And one that should be respected and appreciated at that. For those who suffer from negotiation anxiety or individuals who simply aren’t skilled at confidently asking for what they rightly deserve, a bit of training is in order.
Here are a few of tips from my personal inventory of successful negotiations. Try them out, and see for yourself how they can improve your business.
Tip 1. Set goals for your negotiation strategy.
What is it that you hope to achieve from your negotiations? A better deal? A raise? Asking yourself what you want and how you can get it out of the person you’re in negotiations with gives you a better chance of succeeding.
Tip 2. Leverage your trading power.
Is there something that you have that the other person wants? If so, could you offer your service in exchange for there’s to produce better results? Use what you have to achieve the results you want.
Tip 3. Determine what will happen if no agreement is reached.
If there are consequences to failing in the negotiation room, what are they? How will they impact your business and your bottom line? If failing to reach an agreement is worse than what you’ll lose in the process, then think long and hard before you proceed one way or another.
Tip 4. Identify the power.
Are you, or the other person holding all of the cards? Whoever controls the resources or what the other person wants is usually in a position to control the negotiations. Understand this role prior to entering talks.
In the past how have you used the power of negotiation to get what you want, and how can you hone this skill for the future?