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How to Nail Your Negotiation Strategy

Negotiation

Whether you’re looking for a new job, a raise or you need to learn different ways of managing clients, the art of negotiation is a valuable life skill. However, for many of us, the thought of negotiating can inspire fear, which means that we tend to avoid doing it altogether. But it doesn’t need to be like that. You see, negotiating isn’t about competition or confrontation. It’s about communicating effectively, demonstrating that an idea makes sense and helping people to see the benefits of change.

A good negotiator creates a deal that everyone feels happy with. So, the first thing you need to do is work out what the benefits are for both parties.

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Find the benefits for everyone

No one is going to appreciate it if you charge into a negotiation with only your interests at heart. It can make you seem selfish and unfair, which is not a good look if you are hoping to get a raise or a new job. A good negotiator creates a deal that everyone feels happy with. So, the first thing you need to do is work out what the benefits are for both parties and work from there. Make sure that everyone leaves the negotiation with something of value to them.

Know when to call it quits

Whatever you do, don’t negotiate yourself out of an offer. It is important to understand when a good offer has already been made and to take advantage of that offer. By using that offer as a negotiation starting point, you may find that the other side simply isn’t interested anymore. 

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Expect the best

Going into a negotiation with high expectations can often lead to high outcomes. This is because a positive mindset is easy to pick up on, so try to keep your hopes high. It’s a good idea to prepare for the worst outcome, though, just in case things don’t go your way. Knowing when to gracefully bow out will hold you in good stead for any future negotiations.

Listen, listen, listen

People who talk too much in a negotiation do two things. Firstly, they give too much away. This is not a good idea if you are coming into the negotiation from a weaker angle. Secondly, they miss out important information from the other side. By getting the other party to do all of the talking, you are much more likely to gain insight and valuable information that could help you out. Aim for the 70/30 rule – listen for 70% of the time and talk for only 30%. Get the other side to talk more by asking lots of open-ended questions.

Photo: Cytonn Photography / CC0

Keep a poker face

There is a good reason why people often refer to poker when it comes to the art of negotiation. After all, poker is a game of incomplete information in which you need to pick up on subtle clues to try and get ahead. By keeping a straight face, you avoid giving your game away and you are more likely to swing the negotiation in your favor.

Don’t pressurize

People do not like it if they feel they are being “sold to” or trapped in a situation they don’t have control over. When it comes to decision time, give the other side some room and allow them to come to a conclusion without interference. If you push too hard you may find yourself walking away with no deal whatsoever. 

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Avoid rushing

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to make a deal there and then. It is possible to walk away from the negotiation and take some time to consider it properly before making a decision. By being patient and flexible with your time you will give the impression that your life is not hanging on the outcome of the negotiation.

“Whether you’re a boss or not, learning how to seal the deal is the single most important thing you can do if a career in business is your goal. Deal sealing is an art and, much like any other art both in the world of business and out of it, it takes time to become well versed in it. So, you must devote time to perfecting your deal-sealing tactics and style! Read on for advice on how to do so.” – Learning How to Seal the Deal

Be assertive

There is a big difference between being aggressive and being assertive. Being aggressive will get you nowhere, whereas being assertive might just land you the result you are hoping to achieve. Many people struggle with the idea of being assertive at first, but it is simply asking for what you want in a non-threatening way. Practice being assertive and remember to be polite, courteous, warm and friendly to all parties in the negotiation. If in doubt, just ask, politely, “is this negotiable?”

Don’t take it personally

A good negotiator always keeps any personal issues out of the negotiation. Focus on the facts at hand and strive to achieve an optimum result for both parties. If this is not possible, avoid taking it personally or reacting in an emotional way.

Good luck with your next negotiation!

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