Successful negotiation tactics – unlock your ability to get the best deal

In this guest post Steve Brown gives us some useful and great tips that will help anybody to succeed in negotiation and benefit all the parties involved.

The mere word “negotiation” invokes all sorts of images in people’s heads. Some see negotiations as conflicting and incredibly stressful, while others associate them with deceit and trickery. A lot of things can go wrong when you’re bargaining for something, but this doesn’t mean that there always has to be a winner and a loser. If you want to get the best deal, you need to master the right strategies. Some negotiation training may be required to succeed in this domain, and fortunately, there are endless opportunities for rookies to hone their skills and become master negotiators. Here are some tips to help you get started.

photo by Tulane Public Relations

Reaching an agreement
Negotiation is based on a simple act – establishing common ground. The whole process is about communicating back and forth, finding solutions to existing problems and closing deals that can bring benefits to all the parties involved. Sadly, many people see negotiations as a wicked game they must win at all costs. They often employ “tough” tactics to showcase how powerful they are; this often leads to endless disagreements, and in the end the parties involved leave the table unsatisfied. When the relationship between two or more negotiators is damaged early in the meeting, a mutual agreement is out of the question.

Mutual agreements yield the most satisfying outcomes. Often called integrative, collaborative or principled negotiations, the techniques used are based on finding solutions that showcase apprehension for the requirements of all the parties involved. The outcome is a win-win solution that comes with a lot of added benefits. Negotiators can create a professional relationship and help each other out in the foreseeable future.

photo by thinkpanama

Assertiveness is vital
To employ the principles of upright negotiations, you need to be assertive. You don’t always have to give something up in order to win. Rather than say “yes” or “no”, approach the situation by negotiating. Let’s assume that you’re an IT start-up looking to buy ergonomic chairs from a manufacturing company. The meeting was set up and you’re looking forward to getting the best deal. How do you approach a negotiation if your budget is limited? You want 50 chairs but you can only afford to spend $1,000. The manufacturing company’s asking price is $1,500.

There are many ways you can win this deal without compromising too much. IT start-ups have well-established websites and can offer social media exposure, so you can help the chair company boost their sales by advertising the product on your website. In exchange, you can ask for a discount and even pay less than $1,000 for the 50 chairs. It’s a win-win for both parties – you get exactly what you wanted (for less money) and even though the other company gets less money, the social media exposure you provided will boost their sales.

“Yes” to the person, “No” to the deal on the table
Some deals are just not worth accepting, even though you really like the person you’re bargaining with. In this case, your answer would be “yes” to the person, but “no” to the offer. How do you change an opponent’s mind? First, explain why you can’t accept their offer. Highlight that it’s not something that can benefit your business, although you are willing to reconsider if they’re open to further negotiations.

If the other party can understand your reasons, they won’t assume that you’re taking things personally or that you’re holding a grudge. Bargaining for different arrangements can also happen if your opponent really wants you and your company on their team.

by Argonne National Lab

Steve Brown is a regular blogger who writes articles related to small business and negotiation. He is writer at many high ranking sites and loves playing with his dog in his free time.