Some people treat all negotiations as a competition, where there is a winner and a loser. The problem is that this is not the best way to foster strong business relationships. Effective negotiators approach the conversation in a way that benefits all parties involved in the long term. A win-win negotiation is one in which there is careful consideration of both positions in order to find a mutually acceptable outcome. If everyone walks away happy, then that’s a win- win! A negotiation should never be about one party winning and the other losing. Rather, both parties should discuss their interests and create a solution that benefits all. Here are some strategies you can employ to close deals and reach win-win outcomes.
Prepare Alternatives in Advance
If you walk into the negotiation with a “my way or the highway mentality,” you will most likely not reach a win-win outcome. That’s why it is important to identify any and all alternatives that exist for you and your opponents by doing adequate research beforehand. Do some market research, talk to other vendors that offer similar products or services, and gather facts and data to support your evidence. This allows you to better determine prices, timeframes, terms, and conditions.
Set Clear Goals and Objectives
In order to reach a desirable outcome for both sides, you must first know what that looks like. Think about your own specific goals as well as those of your counterpart. Prioritize your own interests and what you hope to achieve from the negotiation. Then, think about how you plan to go about creating value for both parties.
Be Empathetic and Respectful of Your Counterparts
Genuinely try to understand the other party’s interests and position. Be considerate of their needs as well as your own, try to work toward a mutually beneficial agreement, and aim to maximize both of your profits. Doing so will help to create positive, impactful, long-lasting relationships.
Make Multiple Offers
Rather than making one offer and sticking to it, consider making multiple offers at the same time that you think are equally valuable. This will demonstrate your flexibility and willingness to compromise and will help you work toward a mutually beneficial solution.
Suggest a Contingent Agreement
If both parties cannot reach an amicable agreement, consider pursuing a contingent agreement that will encourage both parties to compromise. These agreements typically include incentives for parties who comply or penalties for parties that don’t comply. It makes it possible for both parties to move forward, even if they have differing opinions.