Not everyone believes that win-win solutions are beneficial options in negotiations. Yet, these strategies can have great outcomes as long as they’re used correctly. Business negotiations entail compromise and if you’re talking to individuals who see concessions as losses, you won’t have the possibility to close a win-win deal. You should at least try to obtain something that resembles a win-win outcome. A good idea would be to expand the agreement and incorporate points that both sides can agree to.
A negotiation is not a battle
In a common negotiation, the discussion is based on offers and counteroffers. The problem is that the negotiation can easily tense up when one of the parties doesn’t agree to the price or to various other complicated aspects. Parties end up fighting because they both want to win. In a principled negotiation, the participants concentrate on the issue and on a potential solution. They work together to find a resolution that is mutually beneficial. They talk about their concerns, ask questions and provide answers and solutions, and this helps them reach a win-win agreement.
Know your opponent’s interests
In a common negotiation, individuals adopt a firm position and remain faithful to it during the meeting. The only thing that matters is “what I want”, so both parties struggle to explain their positions. On the other hand, in a principled negotiation, the interests of both sides are important. Discover the interests of your opponent and you will understand “why” he wants that precise item. A position is usually inflexible and rigid, whereas interests bring in various perspectives and chances to propose alternatives. It’s essential to ask questions that will help you identify the interests of your counterpart. And once you’ve discovered them, you have to align them with your own interests to reach a mutual agreement.
Come up with suggestions that are mutually favorable
If you’re interested in attaining a win-win outcome, you must settle on available alternatives. Being familiar with the interests of your opponent will help you accomplish this task. Explore everyone’s interests and suggest a deal that can solve both your problems and the ones of the other party. The key is to be flexible and willing to make concessions.
Use independent standards
Independent standards are an effective method to align your interests to the ones of your counterpart. They’re like objective criteria that can serve as a measuring stick to set up limits and select an alternative. These independent standards can include industry performance benchmarks, reliable third-party references, as well as accepted market value. If both parties agree to these standards, they will be able to assess a solution that can be beneficial for everyone. When you propose an independent standard, make sure you opt for one that is relevant to your opponent. Don’t use these independent standards to point out that your counterpart is wrong. Instead, you should utilize them to sustain or highlight one of the interests of the other party.
Be familiar with your BATNA
In a common negotiation, participants can reach an impasse when one of them doesn’t want to compromise and is interested in pursuing a different outcome. For instance, a salesperson isn’t willing to agree to a price that is lower than a certain amount, and a client doesn’t want to pay a higher price. In this case, the salesperson should have a BATNA. In fact, every person should have a BATNA before getting involved in a negotiation. If the client doesn’t accept all the terms of an offer at a price that is still favorable for the salesperson, the aforementioned BATNA becomes an important factor. As a result, the salesperson won’t agree to a solution that is worse than his/her BATNA.
There’s no shame in agreeing to a win-win solution in a negotiation as long as you have something to gain from the meeting. Business people should be willing to compromise every now and then if they want to denote professionalism and expertise. Concessions can bring a lot of benefits when used correctly; they can help you build a relationship that might bring you a lot of benefits in the future. Dare to reach a mutual agreement with your counterpart, but make sure it works to your advantage as well.
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