Good dealmakers can create value and have an eye for identifying opportunities in deals. What separates great negotiators from good negotiators and average negotiators? There are specific skills that the best negotiators learn and develop overtime to get themselves the edge in every deal.
Every business and corporation has to negotiate at some point, or in some cases, all the time. Negotiations occur with recruits, existing employees, suppliers, sales prospects, customers, the government or a property owner. Yet, a more significant portion of business people and workers avoid negotiations, as much as possible, even to their detriment.
The Gap partnerships reveal there is a loss of over 42% potential value of a transaction, during the negotiation phase. That is how much negotiation or avoidance of negotiation can go awry. Do not be on the losing end of a deal; harness your deal-making skills with these tips:
- Listening: listening is considered the most critical skill in communication. Often, people listen to what they want to hear or intending to reply. Active listening is beyond that. You should not only listen to what you want, but you should also strive to get the whole point the speaker is trying to reach. Also, look out for facial and body language. Most communication is often non-oral.
- Furthermore, you should listen to understand the whole idea from the speaker’s perspective. Effective listening is empathic. When you pay attention more than to give a reply, you unlock access to the innate desires, fears and expectation of the speaker. You can leverage this access to fine-tune your negotiation such that it gives you an edge. A bonus is that empathic listening makes the other party build trust and confidence in you.
- Ask Questions: Effective listening ill teach you to focus on the other party, rather than your thoughts. You now have a full grasp of what is going through the mind of your counterpart. Show more interest by asking questions. Tailor these questions to get helpful answers and detailed responses. Asking questions shows that you are ready to help and willing to understand from another perspective. It implies that the other party builds more trust in you and subsequently lowers the defense line/
- Prepare Equivalent offers: Before you began negotiating, you already expected something from the deal. However, negotiations often require concessions. It does not mean you always have to trade for values for less. This is the advantage of preparing more than one offer. When you present the other party more than one option, you have subtly taken charge of the negotiation. The other party makes a decision based on what you offer. Research acknowledges that the first number mentioned in a negotiation has a powerful influence on the flow of the negotiation.
- Be Reluctant: the fact that most people avoid negotiations as much as possible means they find negotiations uncomfortable. Often, dealers want to hurry through deals and wrap it up. In the process, they may miss some vital components of the agreement. Do not be like that. Learn to take your time while going over a contract. Doing so will make you less susceptible to mistakes and gives you the opportunity to get prepared. You end up looking more confident and can then control the negotiation process.
- Prepare a BATNA: Not every negotiation will play out as you plan it. Do your best not to sound desperate while trying to push a deal. In the case where the negotiation is not in tandem with your expectation, you can bring up a BATNA. BATNA is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. You can make concessions and still offer your BATNA as an option. When conceding, seek issues that the other party values deeply but are trivial to you. You can offer to concede that issue, in exchange for your BATNA.
Ultimately, not all deals will work out in your advantage. Identify your goal before negotiating after all, negotiation plays a key role in their working lives. If you look for free online resources on negotiation, The Negotiation Society is the world first dynamic community of over 20,000 members. Finally, if you know that the agreed terms will leave you at a loss, the best decision you can make is to walk away.