Negotiation Skills - How to Negotiate Effectively

What is negotiation ?

Negotiation is defined as a discussion among individuals, each one trying to present his best idea to come to a conclusion benefiting all. An individual gains nothing out of conflict and misunderstanding; instead it leads to stress and anxiety. It is always advisable to compromise to the best extent possible and try to find out an alternative which satisfies all.

An individual needs to adopt certain skills for a successful negotiation. Let us understand them in detail:

An individual before starting with the negotiation must be very clear with the agenda (topic) of the negotiation. Ask yourself - why this negotiation? What is the objective of the negotiation? One must be well informed. Try to find out more about the competitor’s products or services.

Let us suppose you want to buy a Parker pen for your friend’s birthday. Before purchasing, it is always better if you check out the prices of other brands as well for instance Mont Blanc. Also check out its features; it will help you in better negotiation with the store owner. Don’t go blank; the other party might fool you.

Before any important deal, do make it a habit to go through as many details as you can. The second party might ask you anything, you must be well prepared to clear all their doubts and convince them. If you yourself are confused, he would never bother to listen to you.

  • React sensibly - A good negotiator must react sensibly. He should never lose his temper or over react. If you are unhappy with the deal, show your displeasure. Don’t keep things to yourself or assume that the others will understand it on their own. One has to voice his opinions. Make the other person realize that you are not satisfied with the deal and it must be revised. Show your unhappiness to others.

    If your boss assigns you a project you are not very comfortable with, show your displeasure to your boss in a polite way and ask for something else. But make sure you are not rude; otherwise your job might be at risk.

  • Patience - One needs to be patient enough for a good negotiation. It is not always that the other person will accept your suggestions in the first attempt itself. You need to convince him and it needs patience. Never be in a hurry to close the deal.

  • Confident - One needs to be confident enough for an effective negotiation. You might need something but never show your desperation to anyone. They will take undue advantage of your helplessness. Take care of your facial expressions. Never be nervous in front of the second party. Don’t start sweating.

Greg was offered a job with a leading advertising agency. He was really very happy as he was jobless for quite some time now. The HR quoted a figure to Greg, which did not impress him much. Greg tried his level best to negotiate with the HR, but unfortunately the HR had already found that Greg was in dire need of the job. He refused to negotiate further. Poor Greg had no option than to accept it.

Where did Greg go wrong ?

The only mistake he did was he made it very obvious that there was no way he could afford to miss this opportunity.

  • Be dignified - One should maintain the decorum of the place and should not stoop to any level for getting the best deal. Present your ideas in a dignified way. Remember it is just a discussion, not a battle field. Avoid shouting or using derogatory statements against anyone. If you are not satisfied with the deal, its better to quit rather than fighting and using abusive languages.

  • Be very clear in your communication - Stay firm on your quotes and do not change statements quite often. Don’t play with words or try to confuse others. One needs to be straightforward from the very beginning.

  • Be a good listener - Don’t jump to conclusions; instead listen to what the other party offers. Understand his situation well. It’s okay to think about your personal interests but don’t be mad for it. If the deal is not benefiting the other party, he will obviously not accept it, don’t be after his life. If you don’t listen to others, they would obviously not respond to you.

    When a customer goes to purchase something, he must not forget that the store owner also has to earn his profits. The store owner should also understand the customer’s needs and pocket. Negotiation depends on mutual understanding.

  • Be reasonable - Don’t quote anything just for the sake of it. Be reasonable. Don’t quote imaginary or unusually high figures. Don’t ask for anything you yourself know is not possible. It will just be wastage of time and no one would benefit out of it.

No body is born with good negotiation skills; you need time to acquire them. Be tactful and patient. Understand the second party well - his needs, expectations and find out a solution beneficial to both the parties.


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