Negotiating is tricky business.
In fact, it can be likened to stepping into a field of landmines.
One wrong move and you can overpay, insult the other party, or cause the entire process to come crashing down.
So why bother with negotiation skills – I mean, aren't good negotiators born that way?
No – they aren't.
Good negotiators are made.
Through education, putting that knowledge into practice, refining your techniques, and learning to apply your practiced techniques consistently you can become a solid negotiator very quickly.
If you want the best value for your time, effort, or investment, you need to learn how to negotiate.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about doing a negotiation; which is why I am presenting 7 tips regarding the matter.
These are timeless and proven techniques that anybody can use to become a better negotiator.
Negotiation Tip #1 Most people are not good negotiators
The first and most important tip at becoming a better negotiator is understanding the reality that most people aren’t very good at it.
One must understand and realize that it takes time and the effort to build your negotiating skills.
If he does, he immediately has an advantage over majority of the population and in turn get a lot of mileage out of that.
There are a number of ways to be able to understand how to negotiate better.
One way is to read a reputable book and/or take a course on negotiation. Incidentally, I am looking to offer a course that tackles the skill of negotiating.
Of course the next logical step to learning more is putting the learning into practice.
Negotiation Tip #2 Understand yourself – your needs, wants, and position
Understanding oneself can be a bit general so specifically, one needs to know what his BATNA is.
BATNA stands for Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. Simply put, BATNA is the term pertaining to your minimum. It is the level where you are not going to go anywhere less than.
Never go into a negotiation without having a set BATNA first. If you do, you could end up regretting the next day what you agreed on.
By coming prepared and knowing what your lower limit is and what you won’t say yes to, you avoid making a deal that you will otherwise regret.
The second part of knowing oneself is being careful when it comes to focal points.
Focal points can be defined as certain things that one tends to focus on in a negotiation. When you focus on specific things, it can be all to easy to forget about the smaller details.
A great example of a focal point is the monetary salary that one gets from a job. Most people will only look at the salary and not really care about anything else.
However, everyone knows that a job is so much more than the salary one gets. For example, one also needs to take into account the number of hours he will be required to work, how much leave time he will get, the number of sick days, how much travel will be required.
It is so important to remember to negotiate for all of these points as well, especially when one is still at the beginning stages of a new job as this is actually the best time to negotiate for such things.
Negotiation Tip #3 Understand who you are negotiating with
In any negotiation, two parties are trying to make the best arrangement for themselves.
So while you are personally trying to make the best scenario happen for you, you must always remember that it is the same for the other guy too.
By looking at the other person’s wants, needs, and overall situation, you may be able to work out a great deal that will be best for the both of you.
Many negotiations are actually long-term. It is rarely a one-shot deal.
One needs to realize this and really take the time to assess the situation.
A great example is negotiating an office space that you may want to rent out. Your first instinct may be to lowball the monthly rental price.
However if you do that, you may be making life difficult for you in the future. Lowballing the price and having a begrudging landlord agree may mean months of inadequate service on his end, unanswered phone calls and general unpleasantness.
By taking the time to think about the situation, you can save yourself from this painful process.
Some examples could be situations of scarcity, ideology as well as negotiations made out of necessity or opportunity.
Negotiation Tip #5 Make the first offer
One of the best ways to make sure that you will be getting your BATNA is to make the first offer if you are prepared.
If you aren’t, it may be a better idea to allow the other party to make the first offer and actually see if it goes well beyond your BATNA and would be something that you would actually consider.
If it is entirely too low, immediately make a counteroffer with a much higher anchor so that the middle point will actually be your BATNA or something close that you will still be happy with.
However, if you have assessed the situation and you know yourself as well as the other party, then go ahead and make a very pinpointed offer so that you set an anchor.
Negotiation Tip #6 The power of fairness in a negotiation
It can be so easy to violate another person’s idea of fairness and once that happens, a whole deal can fall apart.
Think of an injury case – it's not always abut the settlement, for a person with a physical injury it's often the need for a heartfelt apology or show of remorse. Failure to show this can lead to a needless drawn out fight.
The bottom line is that people just want to be given a fair deal or a fair arrangement. In a successful negotiation, one needs to know what the other party considers fair and not cross that line.
Once fairness is violated all logic can go out the window and you may be forcing the other party to look at the deal in an emotional manner instead of from a business standpoint.
If the other party gets the feeling that they cannot trust you, then they will much rather go with another person even if it means paying them a little more just to avoid working with you!
Negotiation Tip #7 Expand the pie
Oftentimes in negotiation, parties can focus on one single thing instead of creating trust.
Some things to consider may include looking at multiple issues, sharing information, and searching for other parties that could be involved.
By choosing to expand the pie by the above-mentioned techniques one can create win-win situations, which makes everyone involved happy.
Good negotiators are not born – they are made with careful practice and education.
By keeping these 7 negotiation tips in mind, anyone can become a better negotiator.
If you liked this post, check out the accompanying video as well as other videos at the Real Men Real Style Youtube Channel.
Until next time!