For some people, the art of negotiation comes naturally. They seem to have a magic way with words that gets them what they want. When it comes down to it though, negotiation isn’t an innate ability, it’s a skill that can be learned, honed and perfected. If you struggle to negotiate effectively, these five rules will help you to master the basics of being a better negotiator.
1 BE READY TO WALK AWAY
This might seem like a strange first tip, but your biggest asset in negotiation is your willingness to turn a down a deal. Hear us out. If you seem desperate or like you really need a product, the vendor will sense it and won’t make any concessions. The best way to overcome this is to prepare well and find good alternative suppliers. If you make it clear that you won’t move forward with an unsatisfactory deal, you will have the upper hand. Always remember that you have other options, so don’t give in to demands that don’t suit your needs.
2 NEVER START WITH YOUR FINAL OFFER
Consider this the golden rule of negotiation. If you’re a supplier, ask for more than you actually want. If you’re a buyer, offer less than you’re willing to pay. As the process goes on, you can slowly move towards your final figure if you need to, without having to go drastically above or below your expectations. Although you may never reach your personal minimum/maximum amount, the person in front of you won’t know that. They’ll see you making changes to reach a deal, which will make them more likely to close at a figure you’re happy with.
3 CHALLENGE WHAT YOU’RE TOLD
Automatically taking what you’re told as truth makes you vulnerable, both in business and life. Always try to think for yourself. Challenge the validity of what you’re told to ensure that it makes sense and that you’re not being duped. Being more informed and showing that you’re serious will give you a stronger footing in the negotiation process.
4 TAKE YOUR TIME
We can all be too impatient when trying to close a deal. To be a better negotiator, the key is to take it slow and not rush. Not only are you less likely to make rash decisions or mistakes, but you’ll also give the impression that you’re under no pressure to close a deal. When faced with your relaxed nature, the other side will feel the need to push to close, which means that they may change their offer just to give you the incentive to say yes.
5 ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
There is truth to the old saying: ‘If you don’t ask you don’t get.’ Be clear in what you expect. The key is to express your thoughts calmly but firmly. A good negotiator won’t be too emotional or aggressive. Suppliers will usually try to up-sell as much as possible, and this can result in making unnecessary purchases. Remember that you can’t completely disregard other parties’ interests, but you have every right to ensure yours are met well.
Do you have any other useful tips that help you to negotiate better? Let us know in the comments below.