Negotiation is everywhere. Whether you realize or don’t, you must have been negotiating ever since you were a kid. The difference? For the younger you, the stakes were your sleeping time, pocket money, outing with friends, night outs, big purchases through parents, etc., Now the stakes have become salaries, business deals, insurance plans, number of kids, big purchases on your own, etc.
While the stakes have changed, you have unknowingly grasped the fundamentals of the negotiating game. So the good news is that anyone you have to tap into this knowledge and hone it using some tips laid out by the negotiation gurus. Here are our top negotiation tips that will help you get started:
Lay the groundwork before you make the first offer
“Persuasion can go through obstacles that force cannot.” -Yusuf. A. Leinge
Have you ever been pitched a product or service? How much time does it take till they reveal their price? Wherever you go, and whenever anyone tries to sell something, their protocol is to first lay out the groundwork that baits, appeals, and reels you into listening and learning more about their product or service. You can also think of this as a pre-justification of the cost.
In a negotiation, proceed with your first offer with a set of reasons that imply why your offer makes the most sense. Don’t also forget to mention how it makes sense for them and outline how it is a fair deal in your estimation.
Be prepared to negotiate and know what you’re looking for
“Know what you want in a negotiation session, and what you can live without.” -Richard Bayer
Negotiation is a game of offers and counteroffers. Your offer will be constantly countered to fit into the other party’s requirements. In such situations, you will need to recalibrate your offer quickly to adjust what they’re asking while keeping your own stake in mind. For example, if your HR counters your ask for a 10% hike in your salary with an aggressive counteroffer of merely 5%, you will need to recalibrate with an offer of 8% with a solid list of reasons why the counter is underselling your efforts.
Conflict of interest is necessary for mutual agreement
“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” -John. F. Kennedy
Negotiations are a tool to drill down to a mutual agreement. Without two people disagreeing, there would be no point in a negotiation. However, such disagreements or conflicts are bound to make many of us feel uncomfortable, anxious, or hesitant. These are natural fears and must be rationalized. Experts suggest looking at conflict as an opportunity to decode and understand what your opposing party really wants and then using that information to create a winning counter-proposal.
Why have one Winner when you can have two?
“Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person.” -Harvey Robbins
The misconception that you need to defeat your opponent far and wide in a negotiation or you will be defeated in the same way is a perception that can turn you hostile in your approach. Instead, skilled negotiators understand that the smoothest negotiations create a win-win situation for both parties. So while your interests should definitely be your first priority, putting yourself in the other party’s shoes and thinking about what will make them say Yes! to your offer is sure to benefit you.
Being objective and keeping your emotions aside during negotiations helps you focus on the concrete numbers and deals that are being offered. It allows for accurate judgment and allows you to make sensible decisions. Keep the above-listed negotiation tips in mind to navigate your deals like a pro.