Effective Business Negotiation Skills
Effective negotiators must have the skills to analyze a problem to determine the interests of each party in the negotiation. A detailed problem analysis identifies the issue, the interested parties and the outcome goals.
Top Ten Facts about Negotiating
Negotiators have the skills to listen actively to the other party during the debate. Active listening involves the ability to read body language as well as verbal communication. It is important to listen to the other party to find areas for compromise during the meeting. Instead of spending the bulk of the time in negotiation expounding the virtues of his viewpoint, the skilled negotiator will spend more time listening to the other party.
- You are negotiating all the time. Whether you are buying supplies, selling products or services, discussing pay with employees, buying a car, disagreeing with your spouse, or dealing with your children, you are always negotiating. It’s just that some of what you negotiate is considered by you as normal activity.
- Everything you want is presently owned or controlled by someone else. Doesn’t that statement seem like “a given?” But think of the implications. To get what you want means you have to negotiate with the person that has it.
- There are predictable responses to strategic maneuvers or gambits. It is critical to understand this because if strategies are predictable then they can be managed. If a gambit such as “nibbling” for extras at the end of a negotiation is employed on you then you can request “trade-offs” to either stop it or get extras for yourself.
- The understanding of power: Who has the power in the negotiation? Understanding this will help you in your strategies. Does the person you are dealing with have the power to make the decision? Are you in a weak negotiating position? If so, can you bring in factors or strategies that mitigate that?
- The information factor: What the opponent wants, what they require, and understanding the elements about the object negotiated for are all informational items that are critical for a smooth negotiation or to use to your advantage.
- The time element: Time is an important element to negotiation. If someone wants your product but is desperate because they need it quickly, it’s a big factor in the strength of your position. You know they have little time to compare other products. You can guarantee speed for more money.
- Negotiators must have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively to the other side during the negotiation. Misunderstandings can occur if the negotiator does not state his case clearly. During a bargaining meeting, an effective negotiator must have the skills to state his desired outcome as well as his reasoning.
- Effective negotiators have the interpersonal skills to maintain a good working relationship with those involved in the negotiation. Negotiators with patience and the ability to persuade others without using manipulation can maintain a positive atmosphere during a difficult negotiation.
- Individuals with negotiation skills have the ability to seek a variety of solutions to problems. Instead of focusing on his ultimate goal for the negotiation, the individual with skills can focus on solving the problem, which may be a breakdown in communication, to benefit both sides of the issue.
- Negotiate the process. Don’t assume you’re both on the same page when it comes to determining when to meet, who should be present, what your agenda will be, and so on. Instead, carefully negotiate how you will negotiate in advance. Discussing such procedural issues will clear the way for much more focused talks.
As you understand the rules and the process of negotiations, the stress, pressure and friction that currently get in your way will disappear. You will actually learn to enjoy the process.