To make it in business and other things in life, you need to know how to negotiate. It is a skill that no business softwares or tools can do for you.
And no, negotiation does not mean you are compromising on your terms.
Some people can quickly call up the art of negotiation, while some need to learn and master the art.
Negotiation may be needed when negotiating for a salary increase, business deal, relationship, and just about everything in life.
Without wasting any more time, here are things you need to do to master the art of negotiation:
To reach a successful negotiation, you need to be prepared.
There is a need for careful and proper preparation before you even get into the conversation (Source: Negotiate)
If you understand the issues being discussed, you build your inner confidence, which will put you in the upper hand.
Preparation also enables you to have the correct information and knowledge you need to reinforce and support your position (Source: ENS)
You are most likely to encounter trade-offs in every negotiation. Know your limits beforehand.
If you fail to identify your limits while preparing, you may fall off the negotiation. And you do not want that.
Ask the right questions
This is closely related to the first point mentioned above.
If you fail to study the issues involved, you will not know the right questions to ask.
That way, you will miss out on opportunities that will help you steer the conversation in your desired direction.
The questions you ask should reveal the main issues that need to be discussed.
You can come up with open-ended questions while preparing for the negotiation.
Also, have follow-up questions that you can get specific responses to.
The aim is for you to set the direction and pace of the conversation.
The questions are to be short and straight to the point.
Don’t fall for the temptation of adding irrelevant stories that may end up jeopardizing your negotiation efforts.
Come up with solutions for pain points
In every business, there is always a challenge.
For some situations, the pain point is already apparent, while it’s not so for some.
To get ahead, you need to discover the challenges people may or may not be aware of and provide them with a solution.
To achieve this, try to break down an issue that seems complicated into manageable parts.
Don’t assume that you may be oversimplifying the issue at hand. Everyone appreciates it when things are broken down to a layman’s level.
Remember that most decisions people make are to find a solution to their problems.
If you can understand this and provide a solution, you are already way ahead in the negotiation.
Engage in effective communication
To be able to communicate effectively, you may need to take some classes.
Effective communication is not only crucial for a successful negotiation but for every interaction – to build team sport, make room for innovation, among others (Source: Forbes)
It does not necessarily mean your ability to argue your point correctly and clearly.
It also involves being able to listen to the other person to understand their point of view.
Then constructively discuss the issues while putting the other person under consideration.
Make sure that the information you are passing on is clear, concise, and understood by the other party.
Drop any prejudice you may have harboured so that you can actively listen to the other person.
Take note that effective communication is not limited to words alone but also body language and facial expressions.
On your part, do not go into the conversation with a determined look to prove your point.
Remember that two “wrongs” (two opposing sides) cannot make a right.
You have already prepared your points of argument before coming to the negotiating table.
But don’t make it evident to the other person that you are there to win the argument.
Maintain direct eye contact when talking or listening to the other party to assure them of your full attention.
Be emotionally neutral
Being able to control your emotions in a conversation can give you an edge when negotiating.
When the stakes are high, it is only natural that emotions may flare up during the conversation.
And this can happen on one or both sides.
If you understand the stakes beforehand, you will prepare yourself for possible emotional reactions that may come up.
You can then work on your weakness to build your strength as it pertains to the issue of discussion.
To master the art of negotiation, you need to be able to distance your emotions from vital discussions and decisions (Source: Researchgate)
It will help you to neutralize any emotional flare-up that may come from the other party.
There are several things you can do to learn how to neutralize your emotions.
One way that may come in handy when the conversation appears to be getting heated up is to call for a time-out.
If it means asking for a bathroom or lunch break, go for it.
That brief or extended break can help you, and the other party get yourselves together.
On your part, it can help you create the needed emotional distance that can help you regain your self-control.
While you may be keen on mastering the art of negotiation, you need to bear one thing in mind.
You cannot win all battles!
No matter how skilled you are at negotiating, the negotiation will end up in discouragement and frustration.
Like most successful people in life, they pick themselves up and move on when they fail.
You have to understand that not everyone will understand your point of view.
Different people come with different personalities. And some may be hard to deal with.
Putting your feet down and insisting on having your way isn’t the way to go.
In whatever you do, try to earn the respect of the other party.
Not only does it give you an upper hand, but it also makes you human and someone worthy of trust.