Whether you realise it or not, each and every day you negotiate.
From "which programme should we watch tonight" to "how much of a discount can I have?"
You also face more important decisions such as salary reviews. Getting staff members to work together. Contracts. Therefore negotiation skills are an asset to hone to help you achieve better outcomes. Here are nine tips on how to improve your negotiation success.
1. Remember Posh before she married David? Their famous Spice Girl song? What do you really want?
Before you even think of starting your negotiations nut out these three things:
• Exactly what you want. Be concise. Write it down. Own it.
• Your worst case scenario - what you will sacrifice or let go of
• Very best case scenario - dare I say optimistic with which to start the negotiation.
2. Consider the negotiation a chess game
Preparation is key. Plan all your negotiation points, possible rebuttals and alternatives. Open with the points you're happy to concede. The table is in your court. Be reasonable. Both parties need to feel they've been successful.
3. Use authoritative sources
Drop in expert research or well known sources to back up your argument gives you credibility and increases your persuasiveness.
4. Face to face is best
You can't see a twitch over the phone or anger set in while reading an email. Non verbal cues are so communication-rich they can really help you with your negotiations.
5. Know your opponent
Rugby teams prepare for their matches by watching videos of opponents in action on the field. Likewise research whom you are meeting with. What perspectives will they bring to negotiations? What is their personality like? What are their soft points? Have counter arguments pre-prepared against objections they might raise.
6. Have a huge you/I ratio
Plan each point from their perspective. Try to turn as many of your I's" into 'you's' as you can. For example replace "I think" with "do you think" or "wouldn't you agree"; "I want" with "wouldn't you want"?
7. Ask questions
Questions help get communication and understanding flowing as you know. They are also a great strategy if you find yourself stuck in a corner. A well thought out question can both reopen discussion and uncover any doubts or concerns.
8. Silence is golden
We all hate awkward silences. Often silence takes over when both parties have spoken, and a concession is due. Learn to wait out the silence to your advantage.
9. See it. Believe it
Visualise yourself in the negotiation. Have it play out to your advantage. Observe yourself confidently employing the above strategies and coming out successful.