Negotiation is a necessary part of any job. Whether you are negotiating a higher salary, a job promotion, or a deal with a customer, negotiation skills are critical to your success. However, negotiations don’t always go as planned. No matter how much you prepare for a negotiation, there will be times when your counterpart is more of a challenge than you bargained for. Oftentimes, these tough negotiations are ineffective and take too long. Consider these tips to help you get the most out of a challenging negotiation.
People who are energetic, charismatic, and friendly tend to be masters at building rapport. These are the people that everyone seems to like, and they have an easier time negotiating because they are likeable. Not everyone is born with the gift of gab, but anyone can work toward establishing good rapport with others. You can build rapport by evoking sympathy, seeking to understand their needs and position, being open and honest, and being a good listener. All these things will help you to establish and maintain a good rapport with your counterpart. Establishing rapport is the first step in reaching a winning deal.
Ask Questions and Seek to Understand
This is important in any negotiation but is especially true in a challenging one. Tough negotiators often feel like they must defend themselves because they are afraid of getting the short end of the stick. This defensiveness can come across as very abrasive and they might feel the need to play hard ball with you. The best way to break a tough negotiator is to let them know you are there for them and truly care about their needs. Ask questions to find out as much as you can about what is motivating them. The more you understand their needs, the better you can negotiate a solution that is beneficial to both parties. When a tough negotiator feels like you are listening to them, they are more likely to back down and start making concessions.
Prioritize Your Goals
Every negotiator has goals in mind that they hope to achieve in the negotiation. However, the reality is that you are not always going to get everything you want. Therefore, it is important to prioritize your goals beforehand so you can be clear about what is most important to you. This allows you to make some smaller concessions if needed in order to gain the most essentials.
Tough negotiators might try to distract you and divert your attention somewhere else in order to avoid giving you what you want. It is important to stay focused on the essentials and not lose sight of these goals during the negotiation.
Keep the Interests of Both Parties in Mind
If you really want to have a successful negotiation, you need to forget about taking a position and defending it profusely. Rather, put your cards on the table and ask the other party what their needs are as well. Once you understand the interests of both sides you can seek to find a solution that will satisfy both parties.