Negotiation is an important skill for any business professional who wants to achieve their goals, resolve conflicts, and build relationships. While many people focus all of their time on learning how to handle themselves during a negotiation, they forget that a negotiation does not end once you sign the contract and shake hands. Rather, it is a continuous process that requires follow-up. Here are some of the benefits of negotiation follow-up as well as tips for doing so effectively.
Why Follow-Up Matters
Following up after a negotiation is just as important as the initial discussion. Not only is it polite, but it also helps establish trust and builds lasting relationships. It shows the other person that you genuinely care about their well-being and you are committed to fulfilling your obligations. It also gives you an opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings, clarify goals, and address any issues that may have come up since the negotiation. It is an excellent way to build rapport and strengthen communication with the other party.
How to Follow-Up Effectively
While there is no exact formula for following up, there are some general guidelines that make your follow-up more effective.
- Follow up as soon as possible. Generally, it is best to do so within 24 hours but if that is not possible, just be sure to check back in as soon as you can after the initial meeting. This shows the other party that are proactive, organized, and eager to do business.
- Choose an appropriate method of communication that works best for you and your new prospect. Decide if it would be best to follow-up with a phone call, email, written note, or even face-to-face interaction.
- Tailor your message to meet the specific needs of the other party. Paraphrase your agreement, thank them for their time and cooperation, address any concerns or issues, and confirm next steps.
- Finally, make sure the other party knows how much you look forward to working together. In order to maintain the relationship long-term, make it a point to keep in touch regularly, check-in periodically, and even schedule face-to-face meetings to share information or gather feedback. This shows that you are committed to the business relationship and are willing to offer support or assistance as needed. It’s also a great way to celebrate achievements along the way and express gratitude for their business.