There is no question that negotiation skills are highly sought after in the business world. In today’s increasingly competitive market, the ability to negotiate well is more valued than ever before. That’s’ because businesses rely on successful negotiators to close deals that will improve their bottom line. So, how can you improve your negotiation skills in order to close better deals? The following strategies can help you master the art of negotiation in order to strike the best deals.
Do Your Homework
Before sitting down at the bargaining table, you need to do your research to find out as much as you can about the person and the company that you are dealing with. Familiarize yourself with their products or service, the industry and their competitors, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. You also want to find out what their interests are and what pain points they may have. When you know their hot button issues, you can better formulate an appropriate response. You should also review similar deals they have completed as well as offerings and pricing from competitors.
Aim for a Win-Win Situation
The most successful business deals are those that are mutually beneficial for both parties. It is ideal for everyone to leave the table feeling like a winner. Ask yourself: What do I want and what does my counterpart want? Then, propose a deal that addresses the needs of both sides.
The best negotiators understand the importance of listening. The ones who do all the talking and try to control the conversation often frustrate and even irritate the other side. In contrast, great negotiators are the ones who truly listen and seek to understand the perspective of the other side. Refrain from talking too much and instead, try to learn what is important to the other side.
Know Where You Can Compromise
Negotiations are about give and take and compromise is inevitable. However, there may be times when you need the deal more than your negotiating partner and vice versa. Be realistic about this and don’t let your pride get in the way. Prior to the negotiation, decide what you need to make the deal happen and what you are willing to compromise and create a strategic plan using this information.
Have a Plan B
Not every negotiation has a quick and easy outcome. There are times when things may not go as planned so it’s important to have a plan B in your back pocket. You should always prepare a BATNA prior to any negotiation, though you would never share this with your counterpart. If they know you have an alternative plan, they will know how much they can push you.
Be Polite and Courteous
Nobody wants to do business with someone who is rude or abrasive. Keep in mind that you may have to do business with this person again in the future so it’s always best to remain polite and courteous. Establishing a good long-term relationship should be one of your goals in the negotiation, as this is more likely to result in a successful deal.