5 ways to supercharge your negotiation skills in 202124 May 2021
Negotiating is a critical part of business communication, whether you're trying to get a raise or work out a million-dollar purchase order. For that reason, it's vital to build your negotiation skills and ensure you can make the most of every opportunity that presents itself.
How do you accomplish that? The following tips are just the start:
1) Prepare as thoroughly as possible
It always helps to do your homework and know the subject of the negotiation inside and out. Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation advised that this begins with giving yourself plenty of time ahead of a critical negotiation: Look at all aspects of a potential arrangement, identifying value where you can and becoming more confident in having that complete understanding of what you or your organisation needs from the negotiation.
2) Practise your pitch
Doing all the research is only part of your prep work. You also need to sit down with someone and actually try your planned talking points out in real life. Obviously this will be with a friendly party in most cases, but getting them to play the contrarian and represent the other side's presumed interest will help you be more effective "in the moment" when negotiations actually start.
3) Understand exactly what everyone wants
Whenever you enter into a negotiation, you should think about two things: what you need and how much you're willing to give up, as Top Resume explained. That helps you align your preparation with the end goal, so that you have a clear picture of what outcomes will or won't be acceptable. Likewise, you need to see the negotiation from the other side and understand what they're trying to get out of it. That, in turn, informs the push and pull of the negotiation itself.
4) Listen carefully and look for mutual wins
To be a good negotiator, you must have empathy. While you may be able to really lean on another business, you don't want to make them agree to a deal that's only beneficial for you, because that means future deals may be negative — or not happen at all. As such, listening to what the other side is saying and making sure your deal is a "win" for them as well could be exactly what you need to lay the groundwork for a long and fruitful partnership.
5) Be confident
If you come across as timid or indecisive in a negotiation, someone on the other side of the table is likely to see some potential leverage — and may try to take advantage of you or your company, Get Smarter notes. With the right preparation, there shouldn't be much you're unsure of, but you should aim to never tip your hand on this front even if you're unsure of how to proceed in the moment.
Whether you're an individual or you're in charge of an entire team's training and skills development, ICML's influencing course will ensure you have all the tools you need when it comes to becoming a better negotiator. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can tailor this course to your specific needs.