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5 Tips to Becoming a Better Negotiator

Learning how to be a good negotiator can seem daunting at first but when you own your business you are certainly going to need to do some negotiating. Don’t fall prey to the misconception that you have to use mind tricks or underhanded techniques in order to be successful.  However, what they don’t realize is that negotiating is something people do all the time in their everyday life.  With a few simple tips you can be on your way to being a confidant and efficient negotiator.

Listen More Than You Speak

The most important part of being a successful negotiator is learning when to stop talking and just listen.  This can be difficult especially when you feel very passionately about your own position.  Some people will simply talk and talk attempting to get their point across.  However, by doing this you are giving too much away without even realizing it.

You give the other party incredible negotiating power simply by dominating the conversation.  Not only will this make the other party feel as if you care nothing about their side of the issue it will also reveal to them how important it is to you to make the deal.  With these two revelations the other party will feel very negatively towards the entire situation and more likely to not budge when it comes to difficult points in the arrangement.

Be Prepared To Walk Away

Being prepared to walk away can be a very difficult part of negotiating.  It is also one of the more important aspects for several reasons.  If you are not prepared to walk away at some point over the course of the negotiations you will reveal this to the other party perhaps even unintentionally.  Once they are aware of this they can exploit it and they have control of the situation.

To illustrate this consider the customer who is attempting to purchase a car at a dealership.  Perhaps they are not particularly happy with an element of the contract and the dealer is not budging. If the consumer is not willing to stand up and say, “thank you for your time” the dealer will most certainly know that and will be even more firm in their position.  However, if the customer is able to stand up and leave the dealer is put in the position of either losing the sale completely or compromising.

 Be Trustworthy

To work towards the best possible outcome it is very important to gain the trust of the other party involved.  Negotiating naturally puts the two parties in competition with one another. However, showing them that you have something in common or are working towards the same goal will make the process of achieving a “win win” situation much smoother.

The best way to gain someone’s trust is be trustworthy – it’s an amazing concept, I know. People who do what they say they will do, meet deadlines, and deliver on their promises earn trust. In negotiating, you may disagree on point or two, but being able to trust the other party is essential.

 Learn Their WHY

Learning why the other party wants what they want goes with the previous point of gaining trust.  For example, if you can learn that the other party cannot make the deal for less than the initial amount due to financial issues you can look for ways to remedy that instead of simply not budging.

If the other party feels as if they are being heard you are more likely to be able to get them to work with you.  Have you ever been in a situation where you feel you are talking to a wall?  When stepping into a situation like that you know instinctively that nothing good will come of it.  Don’t be that person, make sure the other party feels heard and respected.

 Keep Calm & Carry On

Negotiations have a tendency to get heated especially when the stakes are high. Remaining calm and not rushing through the process can be the difference between making the deal and walking away empty handed.  If the other person is feeling rushed or backed into a corner they will most likely not respond favorably.  Keeping your pace even and your composure balanced will instantly make the situation smoother for everyone.  No one likes to feel that they are being shouted at or rushed into a decision. Make sure the other party knows that this is a professional and safe atmosphere.

The art of negotiating is simply the ability to communicate effectively with someone of a different opinion or position.  Once you look at it that way and use a few simple techniques you are well on your way to becoming an efficient and productive negotiator.

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