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Six Successful Strategies for Negotiation

When doing business we don’t have a choice as to whether or not we negotiate.  The only choice we have is how well we negotiate.  We all go through some sort of negotiation each day.  We promote products, services, thoughts: supervisors use negotiating skills to motivate employees, set budgets and timelines, employees negotiate for promotions and raises, parents negotiate with their children to clean up and spouses negotiate each time they decide how to manage their time or finances.

Here are six important strategies that may be used for negotiations in business or life in general, but pertain especially to the negotiating process:

1.  The negotiating process is continual, not an individual event.  Good negotiating outcomes are a result of good relationships and relationships must be developed over time.  Because of that, good negotiators are constantly looking for opportunities to enhance the relationship and strengthen their position.  In some cases, the result of the negotiation is determined even before the individuals meet for discussion.

2.  Think positive.  Many negotiators underestimate themselves because they don’t perceive the power they have inside of themselves accurately.  In most negotiating situations, you have more power than you think.  You must believe that the other party needs what you bring to the table as much as you want the negotiation to be a success.  Also, be sure that that positivity is visible during the negotiation.  Be aware of the tone of your voice and non-verbal body language while interacting with the other party.

3.  Prepare.  Information is crucial for negotiation.  Research the history, past problems or any sensitive points of the other party.  The more knowledge you have about the situation of the other party, the better position you’ll be in to negotiate.  The most important part of preparation is Practice!  The study of negotiation is like golf or karate.  You have to practice to execute well.

4.  Think about the best & worst outcome before the negotiations begin.  Don’t be upset if things don’t go your way.  In these instances, it’s a good time to reevaluate all positions and return to the table.   In most cases, as long as you know the highest and lowest expectations of each party a middle ground can usually be reached in the overlapping areas.

5. Be articulate & build value.  This is key, and it’s what separates the good negotiators from the masters.  When you have a strong belief in what you’re negotiating for, you will shine.  Become a master at presenting your thoughts and ideas so that others see the value.

A tip on how to do that well:

  • Be direct when presenting a situation.  Be clear about what is expected.  Discuss ways to apply how it can happen.
  • Don’t simply talk about what needs to happen.  Discuss the consequences – how your solution will be beneficial to the other party.

6.  Give & Take.  When a person gives something up or concedes on part of a negotiation, always make sure to get something in return.  Otherwise, you’re conditioning the other party to ask for more while reducing your position and value.  Maintaining a balance will establish that both parties are equal.

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Featured nationally on T.V., Bob Gibson is a leading expert on Negotiation Skills Training for Business Executives and CEO’s & is recognized in the media for his expertise.  For more information about our Negotiation Training & Consulting Services or to receive our weekly “Negotiating Nuggets” please visit www.TheNegotiatingExperts.com .  To speak with Bob Gibson directly please call 818-303-4197 or email bobg@thenegotiatingexperts.com .

2 Responses

  1. Danny Margulies

    Hi Bob, great comments. I especially agree about the practice, great analogy with golf/karate. Are there any specific training exercises you recommend?

  2. sean odirile

    well said……:)