Most of us are not born natural negotiators and need to learn the skills. The best negotiators clearly understand how both parties view a deal and can generate an outcome that is a mutual win for both parties involved.
Here are 20 negotiation tips to help us generate better outcomes for all parties involved:
- People want to be understood and accepted, so listen with empathy and a sincere desire to know what the other party is trying to accomplish.
- Consider factors other than price. Uncover as much as possible about what the other party needs.
- Focus on clearing the barriers to an agreement and neutralizing the negative by agreeing as much as possible.
- Set the initial terms of the deal by making an offer first.
- Set an extreme anchor to make the real number seem reasonable.
- Listen more and talk less. We can’t underestimate the power of silence to generate information from the other party.
- Be willing to walk away so you are not emotionally attached to winning
- Start by saying No, i.e., Your offer is very generous. I’m sorry that doesn’t work for me.
- Find a way to agree with a statement by saying “that is right” but not “You are right.”
- Avoid splitting the difference; it usually leads to a bad outcome for both sides.
- Resist the urge to rush even if there is a deadline.
- When possible, use the word fair, i.e., I want you to feel you are being fairly treated, so feel free to stop me if at any time.
- Try to make it clear there may be something to be lost by inaction.
- Use odd numbers, not even numbers.
- Avoid questions that can be answered with yes or no.
- Start questions with What or How, i.e., What makes you ask? What about ____ is important to you? How can we accomplish that?
- Get face time one to one. Body language and tone of voice can drastically influence the direction of a negotiation. People respond favorably to requests made in a reasonable tone of voice.
- Offer non-cash items that may be valuable to the other party but less valuable to you.
- People trust people more when they share similarities. Identify similarities when possible.
- Successful negotiations are where each party feels as though they didn’t lose.
Remember, the best negotiations generate a mutual win for both parties, leading to long-term relationships and a lifetime of rewarding partnerships.