Young Naija Entrepreneurs

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Negotiating Like a Boss: 7 Best Tips of Negotiation

For many people, negotiation is a mystery, and that is why the art of successful negotiation is largely overlooked. Effective negotiation, on the other hand, is actually a skill that anyone can learn. This is why we’ve compiled these 7 helpful tips used by some of the world top business leaders.

This list of the top 7 tips will assist you to seal your next (or first) million-dollar deal, or when next you decide to negotiate a raise or bargain a real estate purchase.

  1. Relate on a personal scale.

Successful negotiators know this and it’s impossible to emphasize enough how important it is to establish a personal connection before beginning any negotiations. In other words, if what you’re expecting is a conflict, then you’ll get just that. But on the other hand, you’re more likely to get a deal that both parties are happy with if you go in with the mindset that you’re going to make an agreement that both parties would be happy with.

It all begins with a positive mentality. Rather than seeing negotiation as a battle between two opponents, you need to see it as an opportunity to work together toward a mutually favorable outcome. That is why the first step is to establish a human connection with the other party.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to connect with the other party via phone, Skype, or email. It’s nearly impossible to achieve great connection that way. There is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.

Finally, remember that the use of language, whether it be verbal or nonverbal, is important. If you want to give an impression of long-term value, use words like “common ground” or “long-term.” It is also important to maintain a relaxed demeanor and voice throughout the conversation.

  1. Know the other party

No, you actually need to know them. Most deals fall through because one party didn’t have enough background information on the other.

If you want to reach an agreement, you need to understand what the other party desires. It is necessary to learn about the other party’s background, motivations, and needs in order to arrive at a favorable outcome. What drives them to do what they do? What motivates them to get out of bed each day? During the night, what is it that keeps them awake?

So, how do you achieve this? There is no way around this. Do your homework and ask as many questions as possible right from the start.

Having a better understanding of the other person’s perspective will help you better communicate with them, and you’ll be able to adapt more easily as the terms evolve.

  1. Include more, not fewer, items in your negotiating repertoire

It’s a common tactical mistake that people don’t bargain for more than the least. We usually do this out of concern that requesting for too much could perhaps infuriate the other side and put an end to the bargain before it even has a chance. However, this concern is often exaggerated, and bringing your deal breakers to the table simply means that a few of them will be axed.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. For instance, to get your landlord to agree to paint your apartment, ask for a few other minor but attainable upgrades, like a dishwasher or kitchen flooring. The more you ask for, the more items you have to trade and the more flexibility you have until you get to the crucial items. By doing this, you increase the odds to achieve your desired outcome. Moreover, you never know if you’ll get all that you bargain for.

  1. Be as open as possible with the other party

Trust is built on information. People become suspicious when you play your cards too close to your chest. As much information as possible should be shared with the other side, in order to give them an accurate picture of your thoughts. In the long run, this will make your proposition seem more workable.

The more information you can provide, the more trustworthy you appear. It shows that you’ve carried out your research, you’ve given it a thorough thought, and you’re entering negotiations from a rational standpoint.

For instance, when negotiating a coastal commercial real estate project, your should be prepared to answer inquiries about the project’s impact on the environment. The disclosures must be consistent with your objectives, but don’t be afraid to go a little overboard.

  1. Include as many intangibles as you can in your process

The intangibles in a deal fill in the blanks left by the financial and legal terms of the deal.

In many cases, this is where you triumph.

What do “intangibles” mean? They are the things that matter to the other side and that you can easily give — things that have practically no consequences for you, but offer a great deal of benefits for the other party. Take for instance, you can agree to manage the other party’s social media campaigns if your business has a large social following. This will be a low-cost option for you, but it may be extremely appealing to a party who lacks a large social network.

As an employer, you may consider including flexible hours, remote days, and other intangibles during salary negotiations. The employee gets a lot out of it, but the business will lose almost nothing.

  1. Be willing to take small steps

Many people are often unable to bear the pain of being rejected at the outset. There is a presumption that they must immediately strike a grand slam and seal the deal in one day. Thus, they give up after the first no.

Progress is often gradual, and the negotiation may take two days or even four months to complete. Do not go for the bull’s-eye right out of the gate. Keep the talks moving forward and be content with small steps forward.

  1. Don’t be afraid to go for the gold!

In the end, ask yourself if you’re thinking big enough. Is it enough to just seal the deal? Is there anything further that might have been done to improve the situation? Is there a back-end explanation for this? As before, this boils down to having a solid understanding of the other party’s personality and demeanor.

Be confident in asking for what you feel your product or idea is worth if you know it will benefit their business. You won’t get anything unless you ask for it. Instead of focusing solely on the bread, why don’t you ask for the bakery!?

Putting everything into action

You now know the top 7 tricks to successfully negotiating a deal. Every now and then, it’s also critical that you keep in mind what not to do. The following are some of the most common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Don’t make the assumption that other people’s reasoning is the same as yours.
  • Find out why the other person is acting the way they are by showing genuine concern for their feelings.
  • Don’t be fooled by the “it’s just business” mantra. The phrase “all business is personal” is often used as a camouflage to mistreat others.

Now it’s up to you to work your magic!


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