Negotiating cannot be avoided if you are involved in the operation of any sort of business. If you actively avoid negotiations you probably aren’t getting everything you deserve and are leaving opportunity or profit on the table. The first step to mastering the ability to effectively negotiate is to get over the idea that the process has to be or feel confrontational. Instead, always look for an opportunity that leaves both sides feeling accomplished.
Author Jeff Haden originally published these 11 negotiation tips:
1. Go first.
Don’t hesitate to make the first bid. Studies show that when a seller makes the first offer the final price is usually higher. Prepare to justify the opening bid.
2. Never set a range.
Ball park figures always drive the final selling price down. Set the anchor on a specific number instead.
3. Use silence as a tool.
Silence is uncomfortable. Make an offer or request a concession and be quiet for a period if the other side responds with anything other than what meets your expectations.
4. Expect the best.
Expect that your terms are reasonable and always ask for what you want.
5. Only concede for a trade-off.
Every concession should require a trade-off from the other side. Plan ahead and build in items that you can trade away later.
6. Don’t negotiate alone.
It’s always easier to stall, find justification or gain leverage when you can defer a decision to someone else.
7. Use time to your advantage.
Never try to negotiate on a timeline or wrap things up for the sake of expediency. Time is an investment in the negotiating process, too, and the other side will most often hesitate to walk away from a deal in which they have any investment.
8. Ignore bold statements.
Never assume everything you hear is true. The bolder the statement the more likely it is to be a negotiating tactic.
9. Give the other person room.
Keeping the other side “on the hook” will cause them to feel defensive, which will create hostility. Give them wiggle room.
10. Don’t try to “win.”
Negotiations should result in a “win-win.”
11. Build a relationship.
Establishing a long-term business relationships are often profitable and promote future partnerships.
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