Excellent negotiating skills are essentials for the smooth running of your business. You should be able to negotiate with different kinds of people in many business situations-whether you are negotiating a loan from your bank manager or a business contract with a client, consultants, contractors, or the next pay rise with a staff representative.
This negotiating skill when learned will make you a successful marketer, businessman, manager or whatever position you hold in your office or company.
It will be of utmost benefit if you understand the attributes of a good negotiator. Being good doesn’t necessary mean that you always come out on the top in a negotiation – it means that you reach a conclusion that is satisfactory for your business. This might means proceeding with a specific course of action or it may mean not proceeding because the terms are unacceptable.
For example, if you own a company that buys old buildings, refurbishes them and divides them into smaller unit, which are let on an easy in, easy out bases to new growing businesses. Your staff who manages all this must be an excellent negotiator.
He accesses a building carefully, determining how much finance will be required to refurbish it and convert it. He calculates the most we can afford to pay. He makes an offer some way below the amount, he is then willing to negotiate, but never exceed his original calculations because he knows we would then need money.
If the vendor is happy to sell to us, everyone is happy. If the vendor can do better elsewhere, that’s fine too.
Avoid hard negotiations.Negotiating aggressively and getting your own way at all cost. The danger here is that you might win this time around, but at a potentially high cost. The other party may refuse ever to deal with you again; can you afford to destroy relationship in that way?
It is arguably always better look for a fair and mutually beneficial outcome; that way the door is left open for you to do business again in the future. You build, and not break relationships.
Negotiation Fears and How to Overcome Them.
When you are negotiating, particularly if you are new in the situation or acting as the lead negotiator for the first time – there will be much that makes us nervous. No matter how familiar you are with subject.
There are still pitfalls and perils when negotiating with an individual or group of people these fears includes;
- Difficult question that will struggle to answer,
- Drying up – forgetting what to say,
- Losing the attention of your counterparts, seeing them drift off glaze over, and
- Not capturing their interest in the first place.
So being sufficiently well prepared will help overcome these fears and keep you in control.
Start by setting your goals. Your objectives describe the intended outcome of the negotiation and not the process itself. Their purpose is to let you know where you are going and to recognize when you have arrived.
They allow the effectiveness of the negotiation to evaluated after the event and allow you to select the most appropriate materials, approach and resources.
There will be time when you will be required to make a presentation, either formally or informally, perhaps as a prelude to, or as part of the overall negotiation process. Standing up in front of people or group is not something that comes easily to everyone; consequently, thorough preparation is essential.
Think about how to illustrate your points – is it appropriate to use props or samples pictures in order to get the message across? Avoid using anything so complication that it makes you nervous, but where appropriate do give people samples to handle or to look at.
Before you stand up in front of an audience, you should practice thoroughly. If possible, make your presentation to your colleagues and get feedback from them.
However you prepare, be sure that you have run through everything at least three times before the actual events.
It is generally a fact that no matter how nervous a situation may make to us, we have to get on with it anyway. Consequently, we must try to control things in the best way we know how, and I would suggest that, that way is the three Ps:
In other words, do as much as you can before the event, and don’t be a bystander during it – get involved, say our price, argue your point and make a difference. You may be surprised at how much more confident you will feel.
Conclusively, negotiation is a skill that impacts on all areas of life. You can negotiate good business for your company, you can negotiate satisfactory terms and conditions for you and your staff, and you can negotiate to get out of tricky situations.
Always look for common ground and the area of mutual advantage. Don’t try to go your own way at all cost, and take the long view – concentrate on building relationships and not destroying them. In my preceding paper work, I will dwell more on this topic.