Whether it’s a new car, mortgage or who has to walk the dog. We negotiate every day. Even in business, you need to be able to negotiate to get better working conditions, for example, to make business deals or to resolve conflicts. The key to success? We share 4 tips to excel in your negotiations.
Line up for yourself what is the ideal outcome for you. With a business deal, ask yourself how much you are willing to pay at most, for example, or what your absolute lower limit is. Also, when will you renounce the deal? And remember: You will probably get less than you ask for, so make sure you have plenty of negotiating room.
Create bargaining power by putting other cards on the table. For example, are you unhappy with your current job? Then it may work in your favor if you have an offer from another employer, or are willing to resign. Do you know what interests or goals the other party has? Do your homework and delve into the other person’s interests, boundaries and motivations. Using this information, make a prediction of where the negotiation will end up.
This applies to negotiations where the relationship with the other party remains important. That’s when it’s best to steer for mutual benefit. By not going into the conversation with your leg stretched out, you build a positive (working) relationship with a chance of a long-term working relationship or more future deals.
Do you already know the power of silence? It is one of the smartest negotiation strategies to get people off “their game” and influence decision-making. Drop a silence and maintain intense eye contact; you will find that the other party seizes this moment to make a counteroffer. By remaining silent, the other person will continue talking and you will discover more about his or her views.
Communication consists of 7% actual words, 38% tone of voice and 55% body language. Be clear in your arguments by backing them up with facts and relevant examples, but be sure to pay attention to your body language as well. Make eye contact and make sure you exude calm: you have the time. Is the conversation going in the wrong direction? Then use a process intervention. You stop everything for a moment and name what you see happening. “This is what’s happening now, but this matters to me.” Come up with a (creative) proposal to turn the conversation around.
It takes practice to improve and develop your negotiation techniques. With proper preparation, listening skills, a focus on win-win solutions and a respectful attitude, you can conduct successful negotiations and achieve your goals. By continuously working on developing your negotiation skills, you have a valuable asset in your hands and open doors to new opportunities and possibilities.
Want to know more?
Also read our blog on salary negotiations.