The art of negotiation requires a unique blend of preparation, insight, and strategy in order to reach a win-win solution. Whether you are negotiating a new job offer or finalizing a business deal, it is important to understand which strategy to employ so you can overcome roadblocks and close the deal. There are several different negotiation strategies, each of which makes sense in varying situations. Ultimately, however, if you really want to get the deal done, you need to be prepared to adapt.
What are Some Examples of Negotiation Strategies?
There are so many different strategies for approaching a negotiation and all of them are useful in their own right. In most cases, it depends on the person you are negotiating with and how they are handling the situation. For instance, some people might prefer to collaborate and work together to reach an amicable solution while others choose to employ hardball tactics. Here are some common strategies that can be used in these situations:
Identify Pain Points: Learn what challenges your counterpart is facing and provide solutions that would solve these challenges.
Look for Common Ground: Take the time to get to know your counterpart and establish a solid foundation early on. This will help set the tone for an amicable discussion and can positively impact the attitude of all parties involved.
Prepare in Advance: This should take place in any negotiation, and requires you to gather as much information as possible about the other party. Research history, past problems, pressure points, and also competitors prior to the negotiation. This information will put you in a better position to negotiate effectively.
Make a List of Concessions: Prior to any negotiation, you should always make a list of concessions you would be willing to make and list them in order of priority. This will prevent you from giving up too much too soon.
Identify Your Walk Away Point: You should also enter into any negotiation with a firm understanding of when you will walk away. Unfortunately there are times when an agreement cannot be reached and you need to be aware of your walk-away point.
Adapting During a Negotiation
It sounds easy enough to know how to approach a negotiation but it’s not always an easy feat. If you are dealing with a competitive person, you need to be prepared to change your strategy and adapt to their hardball tactics. In this situation, you may have intended to walk in and collaborate when all of a sudden you were hit with a “my way or the highway” negotiator. In this situation, you would need to adapt and take a more assertive approach.
If they are being tough, be tough back. A hardball negotiator respects someone who is willing to fight back. On the other hand, you may have been prepared to use some tough bargaining tactics of your own only to find that such a strategy is insulting your counterpart. A great negotiator can see this and adapt their strategy to win them back. Perhaps you came on too strong, but you can progress toward a more workable middle ground.
Our negotiation styles are typically derived from our own personalities and dispositions. Some people are more inclined to listen first before taking action while others prefer to strike first. While our personalities can certainly influence how we negotiate, they should not dictate how we negotiate with everyone. It takes time, but the most skilled negotiators treat each negotiation as a unique opportunity and adapt their strategy accordingly.