Successful Negotiation Techniques
- Only once you’ve taken time to understand both yours and their underlying interests can you begin your negotiation (don’t start negotiating until you have finalized the solution – not before) and have all the information to be creative and inventive.
- Understand who your competitors are & what they are offering as compared to your solution. Determine the pros & cons and use that information to focus on the value you bring.
- Make sure your solution & the difference it brings is valued by the customer. If your strength is quick delivery for example, but your audience does not value that, you have little to negotiate with.
- A negotiation should only start if both parties come to the table wanting to make a deal. If one party is not committed to getting a deal done, they have the leverage as they have less at stake. So, if you are not sure if your customer truly wants to get a deal done, it may be better to walk away.
- It’s a good idea to create a deadline – that’s when concessions usually occur.
- Sometimes, especially on deals with very long sales cycles, you may feel too close to those you are negotiating with OR over-committed to get a deal done. In those instances, it may be best to bring in a teammate (often your boss).
- True leverage comes to those who are truly prepared to walk away. This is easy to say but tough to do.
- Know who you are negotiating with. Who are they? What do they value? How do they tick? Like in Poker, who you are playing against will impact the moves you make.
- Trust is the cornerstone behind a successful negotiation. Don’t bother entering into a negotiation until that has been firmly established. Lack of trust causes suspicion & concern which derails the process.
- If there’s one key thing to do or think about when negotiating, it is to take the time to get into the shoes of whom you are negotiating with. You need to have empathy on all levels.
- Everybody always thinks they are reasonable. Perception, perception, perception = reality, reality, reality. Get into their head.
- It’s never a good idea to lie. It’s never worth losing credibility. You can’t negotiate effectively without credibility.
- Usually the person across the table has more to lose than you think. (People almost always underestimate this and think they have the least leverage)
- Humility is critical. Style and demeanor can be as important as substance. People like regular people. Always discuss commonalities first. This builds investment in the process.
- Theatrics are important. Make people work for your concessions.
- It’s more important to find a way to like the person you are dealing with than for them to like you. It’s believed that people want to agree with those they know like them.
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