The pressure is heightened, and you’re once again entering a business negotiation. That sale needs to be closed; your small business needs funding. Whether it’s an important deal that needs to be completed or a job interview that needs to be nailed, negotiations play a vital role for a large number of people and companies.
Every negotiation is unique, as the people and situations change. However, remembering these 5 points can help strengthen or perhaps just refresh your negotiating techniques.
1) Know what you want
What is the point of the meeting? Make sure you know what you want to get out of the negotiation. Although this seems like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many people don’t quite know what they want going in to a discussion. It could be helpful to have some specifics in mind.
2) Find out how others want to be treated
Do your research beforehand. (A LinkedIn profile can be very helpful.) Being respectful is always a good start, but people will often emit cues that we can react to. Is your counterpart a former college football player? You might want to act and speak with more confidence. Does she have a Ph.D. and storied work history? Perhaps it would be better to keep things more formal. Be careful not to stereotype, but do try to empathize with your (negotiating) partner and figure out how they would like to be treated.
3) Build trust first
Getting the deal done is your ultimate goal, but finishing that deal might be impossible if you don’t establish trust first. Building on the last point of treating others how they want to be treated, move forward and create trust. How? Your credibility and reputation going in to the negotiation can play a large role in how others initially view you, but it is often through conversation that you ultimately solidify your trustworthiness. This holds especially true outside of North America where a personal relationship can be a prerequisite for business deals.
4) Create and SUSTAIN relationships
A relationship needs to be ongoing and sustained in most negotiations. In many sales situations, you will need to develop a relationship because it can be very difficult to close a deal the first time you meet someone. Only 20% of all deals take place in the first 4 interactions. 80% of deals happen on 5-12th interaction! Simply put, you will likely deal with this person again, and creating a good personal relationship can be like creating an investment.
5) Ask the right questions
This relates to all of the points above. When trying to create a relationship, find someone’s passion and get them to talk about it – chances are they want to talk about it. Asking questions allows you to draw out information and cues from your partner. Furthermore, sometimes you may want to ask questions you already know (or think you know) the answer to. Get your partner to talk about what he want to talk about.
This list isn’t meant to be too in-depth; proper articles on all 5 of these points can likely be found. However, for the majority of us, this should act as a nice reminder and refresher of your negotiation techniques that you might not think about every day.
The last tip I will leave you with is to continually re-check your assumptions. Make sure you know what you think you know!
Have I missed anything important, or is there something you would like to add? Feel free to comment here or contact us through social, @antvibes.
Photo Credit: https://www.commbank.com.au
5 Tips for a Healthier Business Negotiation