Efficient negotiation skills are important in all fields and industries. You need to find a proper way to get what you want. Practice makes perfect, so you’d better keep that in mind every time you have to close a deal. Setting up successful negotiation is that simple, as business people must be fully prepared for what’s about to happen. Things can go south at any time, and that’s why you need to watch out. The following tips will greatly help you improve your behavior as a negotiator, so you might want to check them out.
Your best source of power- your BATNA
BATNA is the abbreviation for Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, and it refers to the solutions you can opt for in case you can’t manage to reach an agreement. For example, if you are at a job interview and you want to negotiate a salary, first you have to consider your options in case you can’t make a deal. A BATNA is essential, and you can’t get involved into a negotiation until you are aware of your alternatives.
Carry out some research
If you want to be a successful negotiator, you have to start by understanding that preparation is a key element of the negotiation process. So, prior to starting a negotiation, you need to perform some research regarding your priorities and concerns. For example, if you want to sell your dwelling, you need to establish a target price. Then, you have to establish your reservation price, which is the lowest price you can accept.
A reservation price has to be your little secret and you can’t let your opponent know it. After this, you have to determine your concerns and priorities. If you’re negotiating a job offer, you have to establish how significant certain aspects are to you, such as location, salary, traveling, bonuses, working hours and other issues like these. Prioritize them to know how much you can compromise – for example, if you’re willing to trade location for a better-paid salary.
At a certain point, you will have to make concessions if you want to reach an agreement. However, you need to keep in mind that compromises are bi-lateral actions, which means that if you give something, you have to receive something else thing in return. For instance, if you accept a lower wage, your boss should provide you with a better health insurance. So, in order to be able to make compromises and exchange things, be aware of the importance of these aspects. It is essential to let your counterpart know your priorities and concerns so that he/she can come up with an offer. If you start by making an important concession, the following ones should be less significant so that you don’t end up giving away everything.
Make the first offer
It is highly recommended to make the opening offer, since it gives you a great advantage over your counterpart. However, note that your offer must be reasonable and that you need to be able to justify it. First state your offer, and then you can explain it. Still, you should know that professional negotiators don’t provide more than two or three rational and consistent arguments when they have to support their offer.
Listen cautiously to what your counterpart has to say
Good negotiators are aware of the fact that it’s extremely important for them to listen to their opponents and pay attention to all details. This will help them understand their position and tailor their strategies properly so that they can obtain a satisfying result. Apart from listening, successful negotiators also ask various questions to identify priorities and concerns of the other side. Then, bear in mind that you need to come up with a win-win solution, since that is the main purpose of a negotiation: both parties have to be satisfied with the result.
Practice as much as you can
You should know by now that practice will definitely help you improve your negotiation skills and that the only way to become a victorious negotiator is to take part in numerous negotiations. There are so many things that you can negotiate! All you have to do is seize the opportunity. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; you know what they say: you can’t win if you don’t take a risk. But still, this doesn’t mean you have to be reckless.
Have alternative plans in mind
Setting up successful negotiations demand time and a lot of dedication. You might think that the plan you have in mind is a really great one, it’s impossible to know for sure how your counterparts will react. Alternative plans are extremely important because they can save you in critical situations. Success is all about preparation and confidence, so you can’t allow the other party notice your plan didn’t work. Don’t lose your temper and think about your goal; an alternative plan may prove efficient as well. Expect the unexpected, even if you’re 100% sure a deal is closed. Your counterpart may be with a pen in his hand ready to sign a contract, but do you do if he suddenly sits up and says “I’ve changed my mind!”?
Taking into consideration the tips mentioned above will help business individuals understand who to negotiate a deal. Setting up a successful negotiation can be extremely simple, as long as you know the ins and outs of your business, as well as your ultimate goal.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Michael Newton