Negotiation plays an important role in every walk of life; from street shopping to job offers to business deals! What we’re trying to say is that the importance of this valuable skill can never be downplayed. But far too often, even seasoned negotiators falter and the negotiation backfires. How can you make sure that you walk away with the deal in your kitty? How can you ensure that the terms of the deal are what you had in mind? Read on to find out how to do just that!
- Be well-prepared
Before you go into a business meeting, make sure you have all the information at hand. Research every minute detail that may come up during the meeting. It is always wiser to jot down every point the other party could possibly raise and a response to it. Gather every possible information regarding the deal, the trends, the current market price and most importantly, the other party involved. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared, does it?
- Decide your terms beforehand
Do not wait till the last moment to decide upon your target price and walkaway terms. Remember that your entire team needs to be on board with these decisions and know where to compromise. Take an informed, well-researched decision with them so that there is no confusion in the boardroom. Not only does this help you make quick decisions during the meeting and speeding up the process but also shows good teamwork and that your entire team is in sync.
- Make the first offer
Conventional wisdom teaches us that it is always best to gather every bit of information possible before putting your offer on the table. But what we don’t realise is that this puts the other party in a position of power unlike what we’ve been taught to believe. Instead, when you put your offer on the table first, you set a benchmark, a standard of sorts that’s closer to your target price. The other party will only work around the number you’ve put across.
- Share info
This is bound to raise some eyebrows but allow us to explain. Contrary to popular belief, guarding info and numbers might not always work out in your favour. Ever wondered why that deal tanked though you were well-prepared and didn’t reveal any data? Research suggests that when one party guards info, they elicit the same response from the other party involved in the deal. The trust factor is much lower in this case. However, if you were share some form of info, however small it may be, the other party is likely to reciprocate your openness. This helps keep the whole deal transparent and hassle-free.
Train yourself to be a good listener. You don’t want to miss out on any opportunity however it is presented, be it in the form of subtle body language or a single word in the midst of a conversation. Listen to every word being said and understand what the other party is trying to convey. You just might hit upon gold, that one factor that will be the game changer in your deal when you least expect it!
- Don’t hurry into counter offers
So you’re not happy with the offer or counter offer you’ve been presented with. Don’t let this hurry you into dipping your price too low too soon. Take baby steps. Everybody loves a good bargain. The key is to trick the other party into thinking that they’ve bargained to their maximum potential and got the price closest to their target price. Studies show that business partners who are satisfied with bargaining and negotiation, work harder and stick to their ends of the deal.
Now, say that the other party put across their offer first. Even if you were happy with the opening offer, do not settle for it. It only means that the other party is willing to work anywhere around the price. But this needn’t be the case. A counter offer or two from your end will ensure that you get the best deal.
- Be aware of your body language
It’s never a good idea to go into a business meeting nervous and tensed. The other party will be able to sense that and corner you into an offer too low. Be confident, sit up straight and talk loud and clear. Do not keep fidgeting with items on the table, mumble, talk too fast or keep looking around the room when you’re in conversation. The key is to be assertive and letting it come across in your body language.
- Be in control of your emotions
A business deal could go one of two ways; it could have a favourable outcome or it could go south. Always go to business meetings with an open mind and do not let emotions get the better of you. Negotiate effectively and clearly. Try and understand where the other party is coming from and see if a compromise is a possibility. But most importantly, do not take anything said during the meeting personally and keep calm. It’s just a business deal, after all. There will be many more to look forward to!
When you go into a business meeting, remember that there is nothing more important than self-confidence. There is nothing that confidence and a positive attitude can’t solve! So keep these tips in mind before your next business deal, wear your best smile and you’re on your way to success!
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