101 Ways to be a Good Negotiator
1. To become a good negotiator, learn to “read” the other party’s needs2. Bear in mind that it is almost impossible for a negotiator to do too much preparation3. Start by visualizing possible gains, not losses4. Practice negotiating to improve upon your skills5. Be prepared to compromise when you negotiate6. Determine your strategy according to the type of negotiation7. Define an agent’s responsibilities very clearly8. Clarify your priorities: be ready to concede less important points9. Be flexible – it is a sign of strength, not of weakness10. If you agree in haste, you may repent at leisure11. Write down all your objectives, then put them in order of priority12. Identify issue that are open to compromise and those that are not13. Express each objective in a single sentence14. Abandon any totally unrealistic objectives before you negotiate15. Be sure to gather all key information relevant to a negotiation 16. Sit in as an observer on other people’s negotiations17. Learn tactics from the biographies of famous negotiators18. Talk to people who know the other party in the negotiations19. Be aware that the opposition might have a hidden agenda20. Keep testing your own assessment of the opposition against the way they behave during the negotiations21. If possible, always consult with any members of a previous negotiating team22. Research in advance who will be representing the opposition23. Always keep your negotiating strategy simple and flexible24. Hide short tempers and frustration when negotiating, and never walk out in a rage25. Draw up a written schedule of times for briefings and rehearsing tactics26. Wear clothes that you find comfortable but which are smart and fairly conservative27. Practise being silent around a negotiating table28. Try to set the agenda – it will influence the rest of the meeting29. Arrive a little early for meetings so you will look efficient and relaxed30. Write an agenda in simple language, and include timings for each of the issues under discussion31. Do not run a negotiation longer than two hours without a break32. Keep a clock on the wall so that everybody can see what time it is33. Do not reveal all your tactics at once when negotiating34. If needed, ensure that all parties have access to private phone lines35. Take a laptop computer if you need to access company data36. Make sure that the Leader can make eye contact with all the key players37. Seat your Hard Liner away from your opponent’s Hard Liner38. Position chairs at an equal distance from each other39. Begin any negotiations with uncontroversial, general points40. Stress the need for agreement from the outset41. Listen to a person’s tone of voice as well as their words42. Put forward a proposal with as little emotion as possible43. Do not start speaking until you have something relevant to say44. Pay close attention to the proposal of the other party45. Use humour when appropriate, but do not try to be too clever46. Look for any similarities in your negotiating positions47. Wait for the other party to finish before responding48. Always use stalling tactics subtly and sparingly, if at all49. Indicate that every concession you make is a major loss to you50. Ask for a break to consider any new proposals51. If you are foiled by a successful ploy, think before you respond52. Practise your response to a variety of tactics that are often used in negotiation53. Adjourn when an unknown element is introduced into a negotiation 54. Engage only in arguments that are constructive55. Call for an adjournment when a completely new issue is introduced56. When you agree to talk “off the record”, always keep your word57. Assign one of your team to detect signals given off by the opposition58. Be alert. Key signals may last for only a second59. Learn to trust your instincts about other people’s body language60. Ask a lot of “how” questions to imply a willingness to compromise61. Watch for changes in body language, and adjust your tactics accordingly62. Summarize the assessment of your positions regularly63. Use repetition and positive body language to stress your key points64. Refer matters to a third party if you need an arbitrator to mediate65. Never undermine the dignity of the opposing party66. Press home your advantage when the opposition loses momentum67. Avoid negotiating on major issues at the end of the day, when your energy levels are low68. Continually test for weaknesses in the other party’s position69. Offer the smallest concessions first – you may not need to go any further70. Make steady eye contact to emphasize that each concession is a serious loss for you71. Do not concede ground unless you receive something in return72. Make concessions on a minor issue to lessen intransigence on a major one73. Remind the other party of areas of agreement to help break a deadlock74. Record fully all agreements finalized at a negotiation’s close75. Read over any notes covering the early part of your negotiations76. Discuss and define any words that might be ambiguous in a written format77. Make sure you do not ignore issues in order to speed up negotiations78. Be assertive but not aggressive when you are closing a deal79. Make sure your opponent has full authority to close the deal80. Look at the other party when making your final offer81. If you are not satisfied with a deal, do not sign it82. Emphasize the common ground you have found during a debate83. Try to understand the other party’s hesitancy84. Agree on a date to review concessions made to break a deadlock85. Be polite but persistent. This will gain you respect86. Avoid the temptation to respond with an “eye for an eye”87. Do not insist on an apology when order has been restored88. Contact the other party immediately after a walkout89. Agree a date for future talks to limit damage90. View the use of a third party as a positive step, not a failing91. Think twice before using mediation – it is expensive 92. Ensure mediators act while the parties are still keen to proceed93. Consider unconventional suggestions to resolve a deadlock94. It is worth paying as much as you can afford for good arbitration95. Ensure that you fully understand the process of arbitration96. Choose an arbitrator that both sides can trust completely97. If necessary, ask a third party to appoint an arbitrator for you98. Agree an order in which the action agreed on should be fulfilled99. Draw up a final schedule for implementing the action agreed on100. Decide who needs regular updates on the progress of your agreement101. Make a good last impression. It can be as important as the first one
No comments yet.