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When people hear the word negotiation, they often think of formal settings with people in dark suits, holding matching briefcases. However, this is not always the case. Imagine if you went into a car dealership and tried to negotiate a better deal for the shiny car right on the showroom floor? Or if you were buying a home? Or if you were interviewing for a job? You would be negotiating in these situations as well.
“So much of life is a negotiation, so even if you're not in business, you have opportunities to practice all around you”. - Kevin O'Leary
Developing the skill of negotiation is something you can do over time, a skill you can refine into an art. I have been involved in business for most of my life, so I have experienced both success and failure. Since I started negotiating a long time ago, I have developed what I call my "golden rules" for a successful negotiation. Here you will learn the three negotiation tips and skills to use in negotiation.
In the beginning, don't figuratively try to "kill" the other side, because if you do, you'll be negotiating with yourself, and that isn't good. Business is like the tango, where two have to work together. When you negotiate something, two people need to be involved.
Second, you should be prepared before going to the negotiating table. To succeed in business, you need to research the ideal market conditions and the general business culture. You need to be aware of your own limits and the limits of those you represent.
“Successful negotiation is not about getting to 'yes'; it's about mastering 'no' and understanding what the path to an agreement is”. - Christopher Voss
The third rule is to listen. In my opinion, this is perhaps the most important rule. Give the other side a chance to speak, and listen carefully. As you listen, show empathy and understanding. Whether you agree or disagree with the other side, let them know you understand the situation, and you understand the conditions. This is of capital importance.
Prospective clients will research you before they purchase the product or service, and this means that you need to stay competitive. Lower prices can be restrictive for your potential clientele, so keep your prices high to avoid fewer sales.
Don’t undervalue your services because you think that your competitors charge less than you, and don’t think your services can't be more than the most expensive in the business. Add reliability and massive value to your work, letting that show up in your prices.
Negotiation isn’t about tricking your client into a deal. The worst negotiators are looking to take advantage of their opponent and create a win-lose scenario. The best negotiators are warm, friendly, likable people who want to create an agreement that is in the best interest of both parties.
If you want to lead a successful negotiation, you need to build rapport with your counterpart, understand what a win-win situation is and know the difference between a concession and trade.
Wondering how to have a successful negotiation with clients? If you're interacting with them in person, try to sit on the same side of the table. To avoid getting comments or questions from customers left unanswered, listen passively to their needs. You don’t even need to input a word before they finish speaking. Give them a few seconds before answering, and you’ll be surprised at the increase in quality of discussion.
Most of you are here because you're delivering value and making less than you wanted to, but this is only because we're either thinking about what's in it for us or not putting enough emphasis on them. Most of the time, these sales situations force you to work longer hours and take less pay. A win-win means that you are both satisfied. The client will be happy, and you'll get the compensation you deserve.
It’s important to negotiate without dropping prices. Dropping your price is the weakest form of negotiation, and it’s also the absolute last thing you do. Negotiators tend to go right to this, which is inexperienced.
These three behaviors will help you improve your negotiation tactics. Offering more in return for a lower price reiterates your value proposition.
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