If you think negotiating is about winning or losing, you have already lost.
Negotiating is about striking the best possible deal between parties without short-changing any party involved in the transaction. However, many negotiators disregard the goals of the process and allow their emotions to take hold of them. This could crash a productive or profitable deal.
To avoid simple mishaps, here are six strategies that will help you become a better negotiator:
Make a list of meeting goals and items that should be discussed, as well as a list of possible outcomes. Try to build a case for achieving the best results. Make a Plan B in case the conversation does not go your way. Ferret out the other side’s weaknesses and try and capitalize on them as you go about making your plan.
Planning for a negotiation is like planning to argue a case in the courts—the only difference is that negotiations are friendlier. Once your plan is ready, you should have the following in hand:
- A list of possible outcomes
- The course that you would like to steer the conversation on
This exercise will help you prepare for the negotiation and ensure that the discussion is results-oriented.
The ego makes you do or say things in a way that pleases you and makes you feel powerful. It incites you to tower above everyone else. It makes you a selfish beast and if you allow your ego to rule you at the negotiating table, you may end up killing the deal and alienating people.
Leave your ego at home or elsewhere and be neutral while negotiating and you will see the difference. Remember, the negotiation is not about "I," it’s about "We."
Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, but voice them in an affable or jovial manner. Don’t get aggressive or raise your voice while discussing your problems and try and engineer a solution with feedback from the others.
Positive body language helps. Use your eyes and expressions to your best advantage. Sit upright with elbows on the table, don’t lean back, don’t grimace, don’t shake your head or fold your arms across your chest, make direct eye contact, pay attention, smile and nod when required, etc. Body language says a lot about you and your attitude, and you must draw attention of others with positive body language and expressions.
If the negotiators do not reach an understanding, do not panic or appear anxious. It may be possible that the other party needs some more time to chew over your proposal. Offer to leave the door open for future meetings and be sincere about it.
Analyze what went wrong and what worked during the meeting. Build up on your strengths, correct your weaknesses, and get ready for the next meeting.
These tips should help you get the basics right. How you take it from here is entirely up to you. Good luck.
—Jenny Q. Ta is the founder and CEO of Sqeeqee, the first-of-its-kind social networthing™ site. Launched in 2014, the site gives individuals, businesses, celebrities, politicians, and non-profit organizations the ability to monetize their profiles in unprecedented ways.