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Successful Negotiation Techniques

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Negotiation is an important part of any business relationship. Oftentimes each side has a pretty good idea of what they hope to gain. But it is never recommended that you go into a negotiation thinking that you are going to pull the wool over the other guys' eyes. These meetings are about communication and compromise and making sure both parties get something they want.

Tips for Successful Negotiation
  1. Prepare Properly: Whenever you enter a negotiation without being properly prepared you have already lost. To begin with, you need to know exactly what you expect to get from the meeting. It is also always a good idea to know what the other side will likely ask for. To do this you may have to enlist experts like accountants or attorneys that can examine the other side and let you know what they will demand.

  2. Don’t be too combative: Contrary to popular belief, business negotiations are not war, and if you treat them as such you are likely to lose the deal. Remember that these are people you will have to work with in the future and if you damage the relationship by being too aggressive or too demanding you will end up costing yourself a lot of money. Therefore, it is always a good idea to discuss a compromise.

  3. Don’t take credit: Even if you are the person who orchestrated the deal, it is always best to be humble and not brag. Successful negotiations are often the result of both sides believing that they got something they wanted and both sides believing that they helped the process along. So if you act like a pompous ass, there is a good chance you may blow the deal.

  4. Listen: Some of the best negotiators are not garrulous or entertaining. Rather, they let the other side talk while they quietly contemplate the situation. They never interrupt or act overly aggressive. In effect, they comport themselves like good poker players and never reveal what they’ve got in their hands.’ In this way they are able to gain some advantage because they are far more likely to discover what the other side wants first.

  5. No Ultimatums: Negotiation and compromise is fine, but ultimatums are often only accepted in the movies. The fact is that almost everyone in the business world views ultimatums as disrespectful and insulting. They are an aggressive power play and they often end up destroying a potentially profitable business relationship.

  6. Compromise: Just about every successful negotiation involves compromise, but a good rule of thumb is to always decide what exactly you are willing to compromise about.

  7. Never take the first offer: It’s an old cliché, but it happens to be true. The other side will almost always present you with a substandard offer which they then hope to use as the jumping off point for future negotiations. In this instance it is always best to politely decline and wait for the next offer.

  8. Commit: If a deal comes along that you are comfortable with, agree to it and make certain that all of the terms of the deal are clear and that the other side is committed to the deal.

  9. Once a deal is made, don’t compromise: Compromise is for the negotiation process. Once the deal is made it is up to the other side to fulfill their commitments.

  10. To thy own-self be true: In the end, negotiation is about a certain amount of compromise, but if the other side demands something that you are not comfortable with, you should never be afraid to simply walk away.

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