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An Art of Negotiation

Updated on May 9, 2011

Negotiation process does not have to be awkward and uncomfortable. We all negotiate on a daily basis. Negotiation skills are vital for negotiating deals in various industries. Effective negotiations require a variety of skills, which are easy to learn and practise.

  1. Do not be afraid to ask. The fear behind the negotiation process is unjustified. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to save money or resolving conflicts. On the contrary, there is something wrong with not wanting to negotiate. Know what you want and what you do not want. Know your goals as well as think what the other side might want. Ask for everything you want and continue negotiating until you are completely satisfied.
  2. Preparation before the negotiation process is a must. Research the other side’s strengths and weaknesses. Understand who and what you are dealing with. Bigger deals require more preparations. There is no point to invest a lot of time to prepare for negotiations on a smaller scale.
  3. Negotiation is not a contest. It is just a process where both parties come to a mutual agreement about the matter. The best outcome is when both parties win. “Win-win” negotiations are the best scenarios for maintain great professional relationships. Building trust, rapport and empathy with the other person plays a great role if you are selling something that is not unique.
  4. Do not get emotionally involved. Stay friendly and calm even if the other side starts losing control. Never shout or threaten. Maintain control over your own emotions. Never let negative emotions ruin the negotiation process.
  5. Deal with the issue. We often have to negotiate with people we do not like for various reasons. Negation is not about personality, it is all about acknowledging that both parties are responsible in dealing with the problem in question.
  6. Prepare various options if your solution is rejected during the negotiation process. Be ready to discuss your needs and understand other side’s needs as well. Do not let the other side take an advantage of you. Showing emotions and weaknesses will only ruin your chances to close an effective deal.
  7. Negotiation is not arguing. If you start arguing with the other person, it will mean that you are trying to prove him wrong. Arguing becomes personal. The other side may feel threatened and offended.
  8. Ask for more than you expect. After the negotiation process, the other side will feel like a winner while you will still get what you wanted.
  9. Use the “authority figure”. Pretend to negotiate for your boss. This strategy will save you time because the other side will want to get it over with quicker and will prevent from people rushing you with the decision.
  10. Be willing to give up things that do not really matter you that much. This will ensure that both parties are satisfied and do not feel cheated. It will also help you to build a long-lasting relationship.
  11. Do not act too interested. If the other side get an impression that you are most likely to seal the deal as it is, then there will be not much room for discussion. Over-enthusiasm will make the other person demand more.
  12. Polish your body language techniques. Make sure your body language matches your words. If you are making a final offer, gather your papers, put away your pen, sit back and wait for the other person to respond. The other side will understand that this in in fact your last offer and will know you will not want to continue discussion.
  13. Research various tactics used by skilled negotiators (e.g. the good guy and the bad guy). Learn how to recognise and overcome these for successful “win-win” negotiations.


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