Nine Expert Secrets for Successful Negotiation

The ability to negotiate successfully is a must-have skill in today’s world. There could be many personal or business situations where you have to negotiate with others. You will benefit if you know some tips which successful negotiators use to drive their negotiations. These nine secrets will help you to conduct a successful negotiation.

  1. Build a Strong Personal Relationship
  2. Understand your Needs and Wants Realistically
  3. Have a Plan B (Good Contingency Plan)
  4. Find Out Other Party’s Trigger Points
  5. Understand your Bargain Power
  6. Listen More, Analyze More and Talk Less
  7. Promote Win-Win Situation
  8. Be Ready to Compromise Some
  9. Don’t Hurry

1. Build a Strong Personal Relationship

A random person says to you “hey, buy this card for 30 grands, it’s worth it”. You will probably not believe him and will try to move out of the situation. But just think if you hear the same from your best friend? How would your thoughts act in these two situations? Just think about it.

A positive relationship engages comfortable feelings, we both know that. But most importantly it secures trust. Despite whether it is a corporate relationship or personal relationship, the positive relationship will influence the extent you will believe others. People tend to accept more when it is suggested by someone that they believe.

Don’t assume that it is possible to create a strong bond by just exchanging some emails before meeting the other party. Try to meet in person and develop personal relationships always. Also, expert negotiators spend around five minutes to have a casual chat with the other parties before discussing the negotiation. 

Try to think of negotiation as a thoughtful interaction with other people to determine the best solution for everyone, not just only for you. Think about the long term benefit of a positive relationship. There could be unforeseen benefits of positive relationships which realize in the future.

2. Understand your Needs and Wants Realistically

There could be several goals of a negotiation. Are you thinking of achieving all of your goals are a must after negotiation? It is not right, each goal has its own priority. Some goals are more significant than others.

“Needs” are the essential goals that should be achieved. “Wants” are the goals that are not much essential for you. Distinguish both of these types of goals will help you in the negotiation. Simply, you will not on a position to compromise your “needs”, but you could be a little flexible on “wants”. Then you can be ready in advance to compromise some of your goals in the worst case.

3. Have a Plan B (Good Contingency Plan)

Having a backup plan is way more beneficial in every situation. There is a chance that things may not work according to what planned. You are trying to negotiate to achieve some planned expectations. What should you do if you could not achieve it? Having some thoughts about it is pretty much important.

Doing a what-if analysis is ideal for contingency planning. You have to just gather your thoughts on possible outcomes that may happen after negotiation. What would be your strategy and the response if those situations happen? This will help you to not panic in unfavorable situations. There will be fewer possibilities for surprises if this is correctly done.

4. Find Out Other Party’s Trigger Points

When you are negotiating your salary with your reporting manager, you know how much minimum you need exactly right? You will be happy for whatever amount exceeds the minimum expected amount. The minimum amount, in this case, is the trigger point.

You know your exact trigger point when you are negotiating. Likewise, it is beneficial to understand the trigger point of the other party. You will need to put yourself into the other party’s shoes. What would be their trigger point? No one wants to go ahead with negotiation if the deal does not favor them positively, which is not meeting their trigger point.

This is also the fifth step of our ultimate step-wise guide on negotiation. Don’t forget to check the article on seven steps to negotiate anything successfully.

5. Understand your Bargain Power

Do you think that always there could be the same power across parties in the negotiation? Mostly it will not be. Parties involved in negotiation will not be equally powerful always. In most situations, one party is more powerful and dominant than the other. Understanding this fact would help you during negotiation.

When you try to negotiate your payscale with your supervisor, naturally the supervisor has more dominant on the discussion This could be changed if you are a skillful employee that the employer can not replace easily. In this case, the power of demand can be vary based on each situation.

Analyzing the power of stakeholders is important in business negotiations as well. Understanding the relative power will help you during preparation, during the negotiation, and even during the post-mortem (lessons learned) of the negotiation. This is one of the powerful secrets for a successful negotiation.

6. Listen More, Analyze More and Talk Less

Mostly, do you like to listen more or do you like to talk more? Have you thought that this could impact for a successful negotiation? Actually, the balance of these two is a golden rule of the experts in negotiation. The most effective way is to spend 70% of the time listing and 30% of the time speaking during negotiation discussions.

Active listing is where you will concentrate fully on what is being said, what is the hidden mention on what you hear, rather than ‘just hearing’ the communication. Always try to analyze the facts and try to make informative decisions.

7. Promote Win-Win Situation

How well do you think about what would be the benefits for the other parties from this negotiation? How well others are satisfied, as the same as you have satisfied? The ultimate goal of negotiation is to establish a win-win situation for all parties. All parties should mutually benefit after a negotiation. You should think of the ways to increase the positive impact for yours while reducing the compromisation of the other party.

Always be in a mindset to think about benefits for all. Not just only to you. This will help you in long term relationships where there can be unforeseen benefits in the future. This is one of the powerful secrets for a successful negotiation.

8. Be Ready to Compromise Some

Do you think that all your needs and wants should be achieved during a negotiation? Practically, there is less chance for that right?

Benefit and compromise should be well balanced throughout. As the end result, everyone has to benefit on some points and everyone has to compromise on some points. This is the nature of negotiations. You need to understand that your goals could not be achievable 100%. Some parts of your goal could be compromised during the negotiation

9. Don’t Hurry

Are you in a hurry to conclude the negotiation? Even if it meets your expectations or does not meet your expectations? In most situations, things will not happen in your favor. Don’t panic and hurry if the discussion did not conclude according to your expectations. Remember that there will always be tomorrow. Things can turn upside down in the future.

Don’t resist to escalate to the decision-maker if you think that your arguments are valid. Having a five-minute discussion with the decision-maker is precise. Try to wait for the good timing for the next discussion to happen. Also, you can stay silent for some time and follow up again. Things can change drastically with time.

Conclusion

I hope you got some considerable knowledge of awesome nine secrets for a successful negotiation. These are the tips that expert negotiators following. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think.

Additional Readings,

5 Psychological Negotiation Methods: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/5-psychological-negotiati_b_8334686

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