6 Ways to Become a Good Negotiator
You come across several occasions when you have to use your negotiation skills – be it buying goods in the market, selling a used appliance or vehicle, dealing in real estate, dealing with customers or vendors if you are running a business or if you are an employee, negotiating a salary rise. The real challenge is to get the best of the opponent but not by cheating or making him feel small, and at the same time making the deal favorable for you.
Many people shy away from negotiation due to the fear or thinking that they are not good at it. However, with a little effort and understanding, you can easily learn how to negotiate better and get a good deal.
Here are 6 ways to become a good negotiator
1. The Need for a Good Strategy
You have to do the homework and be prepared with a strategy to negotiate. If you are negotiating to take commercial space in an urban area, understand some of the drawbacks of the building relative to others and average rentals in the area. Without that knowledge you will be yielding to whatever the other party says. Be prepared with questions and answers to the likely questions.
2. Take the Lead
You must make the first offer instead of waiting for the other party to begin. If you are proactive, the discussions will remain in your control and are likely to be more favorable. Some studies have shown that negotiators who take the lead are more likely to succeed than others who are shy to take the initiative.
3. Listen and Respond
It is very important to be a good listener as it will help you to concentrate on what is being said and build trust. It also creates an atmosphere of respect for the opposite party.
4. Create a Win-Win Situation rather than Zero-Sum
In a Zero sum negotiation, one side wins and the other loses. Use the co-operation strategy to win their confidence and trust. The best deals create a win-win situation rather than a zero-sum game situation. In such a strategy, both sides concede a few points and retain some. For an employer agreeing to 20% hike yearly, he may keep a condition that it will be based on performance appraisal.
5. Pay Importance to Body Language and Tone of Voice
Talk with confidence and smile which put you in an advantageous position while at the negotiating table. Use gestures and shoulder movements to suggest that you are fully in control and don’t show fear or anxiety about the outcome. You must be expressive by gesticulating and be persuasive. The tone of your voice and body language are more important than your actual words.
6. Look for Common Interests and Beliefs
The other party is not your enemy but only negotiating a deal or contract. If it is about a movie distribution, a free-wheeling talk about films that interest both of you can build a common ground from where it will be more of a co-operative, win-win attitude rather than a confrontational one.
Most often, negotiations are not about money or contracts alone. It could be about a disciplinary action, a penalty imposed or failure to adhere to stipulations. In such situations you are on the weaker side and an apologetic tone will surely help. At the same time, convey all the other conditions you have met in the statute or agreement so that you don’t lose the deal. Negotiations also happen between family members- parents and children, husband and wife, brothers. A give and take attitude is a must to reach an agreement.
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