The Art of Business Negotiation

Effective negotiation is one of the keys to business success. Whether you sign contracts or work with clients, talking the issue over is the most effective way to attain a win-win outcome. You can establish common ground, make reliable partners, and attain your goals through the negotiating process.

Nowadays there are hundreds of books about various techniques and methods for conducting business talks. However, the problem with them isn’t that they are hard to grasp but that they are extremely difficult to implement.  That’s why to become a skillful negotiator its necessary to practice a lot.

To start with, master the basics: learn the strategy and the tactics. Having a well-defined strategy means considering each step and making a definite plan of actions to achieve the necessary objectives. As to some of the effective tactics, many skillful negotiators recommend being the first to name the price if you are a buyer because the first number is likely to be the final one. Another useful tactic is to demand the greatest concession or discount from the other party, even if it’s impossible. Then it can be reduced to a reasonable but still beneficial number.

Besides, while conducting business negotiations you have to rely on psychology a lot. Note the following helpful tricks to do it effectively:

  • List your priorities. Make a list of your objectives and order them from the most to the least important. It helps seeing what to fight for and what’s not worth it. Then you can consult with the other party to decide whether your priorities are similar and work out ways to attain them.
  • Be precise. Avoid the words “between” and “approximately” especially if you name prices and deadlines. If your opponent feels an opportunity to choose between the options you subconsciously offer, he’ll choose the most convenient for him and the worst for you.
  • Keep calm. Losing control for a second can kill the deal. Forget your emotions and obscene words and turn the logic on. Be patient even if the other party is not as it makes your position stronger.

However, all the tactics can go down the drain if you are not well-prepared to the negotiation process. You should learn as much about your partners’ goals, desires, and leverages as you can not to fall into a trap. It’s also important to stick with your pre-determined position and settle the limit for concessions. Prepare your first offer and the second one in case the first is rejected. Figure out your strong and weak points in the negotiation.grow-your-business2

Another vital aspect of successful negotiations is non-verbal communication. To establish trust, notice your counterpart’s posture and gestures and mimic them. In this case, your partner will be comfortable and at ease.

Bear in mind cultural differences in international negotiations. For example, in Western tradition maintaining eye contact is crucial to mutual understanding, while Japanese people would consider it impolite.

With so many things to take into account, remember, that negotiation is an art. Some have a talent for it but the majority of successful negotiators have mastered it with practice and hard work.

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