Effective negotiation requires more than simply understanding your goals and the areas where you can be flexible; successful preparation includes arming yourself with facts related to the negotiation topic at hand as well as considering possible bargaining tactics.
If you’re trying to negotiate the price of a new SUV, doing research at competing dealerships may help.
Establishing an understanding of yourself is an integral component of successful negotiation preparation. Being aware of your behavioral style and potential triggers in challenging situations will allow you to anticipate how others might respond to your tactics, as well as gain insight into potential pitfalls to avoid.
Additionally, it’s essential that you understand your comfort levels during negotiations. Knowing whether you prefer meeting in the middle or going harder on negotiations will aid your decision-making process and give you peace of mind during negotiations.
At the outset of any negotiation, it’s essential that you know exactly which terms cannot be accepted as minimum terms; this way you won’t become carried away by optimism or pessimism during the process.
Know the Other Party
Before initiating any discussion, successful negotiators take time to get to know their counterparts thoroughly, including understanding their positions, needs, values, hopes and fears as well as discovering any boundaries that they will not accept – often called their “walk-away point.”
As you begin a negotiation, be courteous and respectful while engaging in active listening to ensure the other side feels heard and respected, building their trust which is so necessary for any negotiation process.
Avoid making emotional demands or ultimatums that cause tension and may result in negotiations breaking down. Negotiations isn’t about winning; rather it should focus on creating win-win situations for all parties involved. Research indicates that successful negotiators view negotiations as a collaborative problem-solving exercise rather than as a contest between two sides.
Know the Issues
Successful negotiators understand the significance of taking time to reflect upon each negotiation they undertake. Assessing whether it was successful is important as is identifying what could have been done differently to improve results.
Curhan’s research suggests that it’s wise to avoid arrogance after an effective negotiation, particularly if your deal went well. A certain degree of confidence can be beneficial; however, too much could increase the risk for failure in future negotiations.
Negotiations is all about compromise, so it can be helpful to know in advance which points are more significant and which ones you are willing to walk away from if necessary. By setting out your “walk away point,” it allows you to negotiate knowing your limits without making concessions beyond your comfort zone – giving you leverage when the time comes for negotiations to take place.
Know Your Options
Negotiation requires options. It is easy to become overwhelmed by either optimism or pessimism and forget there may be different solutions available. Therefore, it is crucial that an objective assessment of your situation be conducted beforehand, then revisited periodically during negotiations.
While in preparation mode, consider what options exist if an agreement cannot be reached – this will help keep your nerves calm during negotiations.
At the outset of any negotiation, it can be beneficial to lay out your priorities and ask the other party about theirs. This can provide invaluable information about their interests as well as creating potential trade-offs or concessions between both parties and fostering cooperation and openness between you both.
Know Your Value
Negotiation is the art of creating value and making concessions; no matter the outcome, you should never feel as though valuable information or opportunities have been left on the table.
No matter whether you are seeking an increase in salary, a new job, or business partnership agreements; it is crucial to assess both your personal and professional value in negotiations. While your monetary worth may suffice for now, consider factoring in other skills, experiences, and connections as they could add additional weight in negotiations.
Before entering any negotiation, consider your value and come up with a number that feels comfortable to you. Once in negotiations, pay attention to nonverbal signals to see if both parties are on the same page in terms of working towards meeting your goal. If they are, this could be taken as an indicator that both are working toward that same end goal.