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The Art Of Negotiation: Mastering Business Deal-Making

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  • Business
  • 7 min read

Negotiation is a useful way to solve problems and achieve goals. There are many methods for negotiating, but the basics remain the same.

You start by saying what you want, then you ask for something more, then you ask for something more, and finally you ask for what you want. This goes back to how most people think of negotiation. You say one thing and put another behind it.

But that is not the most important part of negotiation. You also have to know how to make it easy on yourself so that you can get what you want as fast as possible.

The most important part of negotiation is knowing when to not negotiate. If your company is facing a tough situation, do not be too talkative or too detailed in your wants and needs. Say what you want, and if you need to add another detail, tell them how much it costs or prove it with an example.

Become a better listener

While the word listen has several different meanings, its connotations are of being attentive to something or someone, being respectful of someone’s point of view, or being polite when asking a question.

In the business world, a good listener is valued as valuable as a good speaker. A person with good listening skills can see potential in things others would not and obtain information from them that others would not. This helps in developing relationships and finding solutions to problems.

A common misattribution made to the opposite sex is that they are interested in you only as a sexual object. This is very damaging and should never be true. People with this perception must know that you are more than just that to them. A well-informed person will use this to their advantage, and make allowances for people with poor listening skills.

Know what you’re negotiating about

While a basic understanding of the scope of a negotiation is useful, understanding what’s at the core of a negotiation is more powerful.

That’s because a fully developed negotiation with all its core elements in place is more powerful than a “negotiation with an open mind” type. A “negotiation with an open mind” type can be successful, but it will usually be bought at a cost: your willingness to compromise, your trust in others, and your sense of fairness.

A fully developed negotiation requires both sides to know what the other side wants and what you want. When there are gaps between sides, it can lead to conflict or waste. Both parties must feel comfortable or they wouldn’t bother negotiating.

When there are hard parts and easy parts in a negotiation, the easy parts must be negotiated through before the hard parts can be faced.

Have a plan for responding to deal breakers

If someone really steps out of line during a negotiation, have a plan for how to respond. It is best to have several responses available in case the first one does not work.

If someone is being unreasonable, for example, being unwilling to pay more for an item or service, offer them a lower amount if they agree to the item or service. If they still don’t agree, offer them another smaller amount and so on.

If people can’t be convinced that they’re going to get a good deal on an item or service, try offering different benefits that people can get with similar quality items or services. People may be more willing to compromise on those than just one piece at a time.

Know your counterpart

Once a person is aligned with your side, it is important to know what makes them angry, and why they are angry.

Anger is a response to something that makes them feel stressed. When someone feels angry, they are more likely to follow through with an agreement because they are feeling stressed.

As negotiators, we need to understand our counterparts’ anger levels and how much we can trust that level. A good gauge of whether or not an agreement is possible can be whether or not you feel like you can trust your counterpart.

If you find yourself having to question your assumptions about someone, it may be time to walk away. While it may feel hard at times, doing your best to understand what each side is saying and taking steps to fix any gaps between those words is the key.

Anticipate objections

Even though we are trained to think of every possible objection as an error, we can actually avoid many of them by being prepared for them.

This includes being aware of what kinds of offers someone else is making, what kind of objections they have to an offer, and how hard they are willing to work to overcome those objections.

When you are considering a new offer, you can make more decisions on whether to accept the deal on whether your team and thesteiner corporation can live with the offer.

If you need help in this area, consider using the steps from a negotiation artist like Thea Austin or John Barrow. Both help you be aware of your potential enemies and how to defeat them.

Develop options for compromise

When there is no clear winner in an argument, the best negotiators create several possible solutions to help build a consensus.

This may look like stacked cards being shuffled, but in negotiation cards are put down in several places at once. You can see how your opponents see these as possibilities to come together, rather than just one more thing you want.

Using two or more points of view can help make a stronger connection between thoughts and actions, making it easier to agree upon a solution. Creating some flexibility around a position can help lower the expectation gap between oneself and the person else involved.

Be persistent without being annoying

Be persistent without being annoying. If you keep asking the same questions, your counterpart will start to feel that you are trying to control or sway them and respond less effectively.

Sometimes, it is necessary to be persistent in order for someone to give you what you want. When this happens, the person you are trying to persuade owes you a debt of gratitude for allowing them to respond and be helpful.

By being persistent, you are being kind and honest at the same time. You are not being genuine, but you are still trying to get what you want out of them.

Be honest even when it is hard for them. If something is true about them, let it be known quickly and efficiently without going into too much detail. This will make them feel more comfortable and trust that you aren’t lying about something serious.

Be clear and concise

It is more difficult to read a paragraph than any other piece of text. We must be able to read and understand what the other person is saying.

If you are reading a paragraph that refers to another paragraph, you can fill in the missing information. For example, if the previous paragraph mentioned a painting, you could say that the painting was expensive.

It is the same with sentences and paragraphs. If a sentence or paragraph refers to another, you can easily add additional detail to make it more complete. For example, if a sentence said that one sign was prominent and the other was less prominent, you could say that the first sign was expensive and weakly contrasting colours were used for the others.

This is important when trying to identify potential sources of information or inspiration. When one is able to be more concise, others can easily read between intent and effect.

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