Negotiation is a necessary skill to have, for even if we are not aware, we are constantly negotiating. When your friend wants to go get a burger but you’re in the mood for pizza, with your relatives, with your partner or your children. It is not only related to the area of business, talking your boss into giving you a promotion or a raise. Negotiation is a skill that we, inadvertently, use every day and for that reason, it’s a skill worth polishing!

  • LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.

Before you do anything else, just listen to what the other entity has to say. In negotiation, he who knows more has  ultimate control over the situation. When you listen to the person that you’re negotiating with, your are showing them that you care and that it is important to you that they get what they want out of the deal as well. 

Knowing what the other person wants gives you a tactical advantage and helps you come up with ways in which you can satisfy them while making sure that you get what you want out of the negotiation. Also, take time to notice how are they speaking; Is their language open and confident or do they sound wary? If the person you’re speaking to is acting wary, you can start by showing that you are trustworthy and ease their concerns before they are even voiced, which again, will put you in a leading position. 

  • KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE AND DESIRABLE. 

When entering a negotiation, it is paramount to be clear on what is that you want to achieve. Deciding on the go can leave you feeling dissatisfied or taken advantage of when the excitement over the negotiation fades. 

There are three points that you need to be clear on. These are; What would exceed your expectations, what is your desirable outcome and what is the minimum that you are willing to accept. 

Let’s say that your ideal salary is “x” a year, that would be your desirable outcome and what you are aiming for in your negotiation. Reaching an agreement for “2x” a year would be fantastic! Wouldn’t it? That would be exceeding your expectations. Now, in the worst case scenario, you would do fine with 3/4x a year, what would be your minimum acceptable. 

In a negotiation, you should aim to stay as far as possible from your minimum acceptable for the best results, but always remember that you can’t go below that.

  • START THE NEGOTIATION WITH AN OFFER.

Instead of starting your negotiation with a request, start with an offer instead. If you have been an active listener, you must be aware by now of what is that the other person wants. Your counterpart in a negotiation is probably moving in the same spectrum as you are (minimum acceptable, desirable, exceeding expectations) so now it’s time to walk a mile in their shoes and think about what should be their minimum acceptable. There’s where you want to aim! 

The objective of an initial offer is not to close the deal immediately, but to show your counterpart that you are interested in making them happy, build rapport and create a positive atmosphere before speaking about what you want. Also, their attention will be more focused on what they are to gain from the situation, and they are less likely to think about the cons of agreeing to your request. 

  • MAKE IT ABOUT THEM.

You have clearly voiced your request by now, and you are in need of closing this deal. However, displaying need is the most effective way to end up in a disadvantageous deal! Instead of putting your attention on how much you need to reach an agreement, make your case around the reasons why they need to close the deal. 

Be aware of what you can do for them and paint them a picture of the benefits that agreeing to your deal would have for them. Show them that you are just the right person to give them what they want and add pressure on their side instead of yours. 

For instance, you can say that you can only offer to do this for a limited time because there are other responsibilities coming your way in the foreseeable future. Find a way to create scarcity and add pressure to them by making them realize how much of a win-win situation this is and what a fantastic opportunity they risk losing and you will be three steps closer to doing fantastic business!

  • WALKING AWAY IS AN OPTION.

As counter-intuitive as it may sound, displaying that you are willing to walk away and bearing in mind that a particular negotiation is not the only way in the world to get what you desire creates both an “aura” of confidence around you and a sensation of scarcity for the other part that makes the deal irresistible! 

As much as these tips will help you improve your negotiation skills and help you be way more successful when making deals, not everyone is a match and it’s necessary to remember that it is okay that you are not able to convince everyone! Sometimes, you have pushed too hard and you find yourself in a negotiation that has turned against you, or upon further thought, you feel that you are not satisfied with the arrangement that has been made. If this is the case, you are entitled to walk away and try your luck somewhere else!

Implementing the tips above in your negotiations will have a positive impact and increase your chances of succeeding. Remember to have a clear mind and show confidence and you will have them in the palm of your hand! 

Want to improve your negotiation skills? Join us for a workshop on the “Art of Negotiation” on the 28th/29th of September and learn how to get more from life!

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