Effective negotiation skills can be really important in a number of careers and the vast majority of people will find themselves negotiating at some point.
You may want to negotiate a pay-rise or salary package with a current or future employer. Your role may include closing deals either as a buyer or a seller. Whatever you are negotiating for the end result should always be the same: both parties leaving happy. If you can master effective negotiation skills then you will be able to make this happen.
So what do you need to do to make sure that your negotiations run smoothly and are successful?
Step 1: Identify What Both Parties Want
The first step is to identify what the desired aims and results are for both parties. This gives you a clear starting point from which to begin negotiations and will help you with the direction you may want to take them.
Step 2: Prepare
In order to conduct an effective negotiation, you need to be prepared. Think about any offers or alternatives you may want to suggest during negotiations. These suggestions should have both parties’ goals in mind. If you have worked with the other party in the past, then think back on what common goals have already been established and what makes them happy.
Step 3: Communicate Clearly
Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is vital when negotiating. You do not want the other party to misunderstand what you are offering in any way or what your desired outcome is. Planning will help you to communicate clearly as you can think about how you will properly present your offer in a concise way.
Step 4: Listen
During a negotiation, it is easy for your brain to start rushing ahead and thinking about what you want to say next but this may stop you from listening to the other party. Listening carefully and considering the body language (where possible) of the other party, will help you to gauge how they are feeling and will indicate if you need to make any changes.
Step 5: Keep Emotion in Check
Have your poker face at the ready because you may need it for an effective negotiation. It is important to remain cool, calm and collected when negotiating, keeping communication friendly and open. Obviously, you do not want to show any frustration but you also don’t want to appear too keen as this could result in you losing bargaining power. You need to keep the negotiation moving towards achieving your goals and keeping emotion in check will definitely help it move in the right direction.
Step 6: Be Decisive
You don’t want to lose control of the negotiation so it is important that you are able to be decisive. Quick decisions mean a quick resolution, deal or compromise.
Step 7: Use your Interpersonal Skills
Part of negotiating involves building a good working relationship with the other party. You want to keep this working relationship healthy and positive throughout and beyond your negotiations. Trying to remain positive and being patient will help you develop a lasting partnership.
Whatever you are negotiating for and whoever you are negotiating with, these 7 steps should put you on the right track for success.