Negotiations take place all the time in the business world and the ability to do it well can impact your success and long-term growth. Poor negotiation skills can leave you with a bad reputation while great negotiators are more likely to climb the corporate ladder. Given that negotiation skills play such an important role in your professional career, it is important to know how your skills fare compared to your colleagues. If you aren’t getting the results you want and closing those lucrative deals, it could be the result of common negotiation mistakes. It’s possible that you are hindering your ability to secure deals without even knowing it. Even the tiniest mistakes can ruin your chances of closing the deal, so let’s take a look at some common negotiation mistakes you might be making.
Do you feel anxious, apprehensive, or nervous when you have to reach an agreement with others? You may not realize it, but low self-esteem could be hindering your ability to close deals. Your self-esteem can have a significant impact on your negotiation success. The truth is, how you see yourself determines how others see you. When you don’t feel self-assured or downplay your self-worth, you may end up accepting deals that are detrimental to your position. When you second guess your ability and value, you send the message to your counterpart that you are unsure of what you are promising and they immediately doubt your credibility. Generally, people with healthy self-esteem negotiate better deals so don’t forget to hold your head high and walk into a negotiation with confidence.
Talking More Than You Listen
You might think you are totally ready to nail this negotiation because you have prepared well and know exactly what you plan to say. What you are failing to remember, however, is that it is equally important to know how to listen. One of the most common mistakes made by a negotiator is to focus so much on your own presentation that you forget about your counterpart. Talking too much not only frustrates your counterpart, but you run the risk of giving away too much information. You are also preventing yourself from gaining valuable information about your counterpart. It is essential to ask questions and gather extensive information during the conversation so you can get a better idea of what your opponent is willing to go for and what they are not.
Fighting to “Win”
Sure, everyone wants to walk away from a negotiation with the best possible outcome, but this doesn’t mean you should have a “winner” and “loser” mentality. If you only keep your own interests at the forefront of your negotiation you risk losing the deal altogether. You never want the other person to feel like they are “losing” against you. You need to put your ego aside and remember that it is far more advantageous to seek mutually beneficial solutions.
Have you ever walked into a negotiation feeling positive and confident and then something doesn’t go the way you planned? At this point, you might feel your mood immediately dampen. Negative feelings often result in negative perceptions and anger, anxiety, and stress can impact your ability to negotiate well. It’s very easy to get angry and frustrated during a heated discussion and you might find yourself feeling defensive. This can make it very hard to consider other people’s opinions and it can also make it hard for the other person to listen. If you feel your emotions taking over, take a deep breath or take a quick break from the discussion until you can calm yourself down. You should never be driven by emotions in a negotiation.