Negotiating is not just a part of business. It is a part of everyday life and something many of us start doing at a young age. We negotiate with our parents when we’re young and want something that they might not be ready to give us. We negotiate with friends in school when deciding whose house the next sleepover will be at. We negotiate with neighbors about noise levels, we negotiate with landlords or tenants for rent, and we even negotiate with our own kids when trying to place healthy boundaries.
We could go on but you get the picture. Like in day to day life, your ability to negotiate in the world of business plays a part in determining how successful you may be.
Becoming a Strong Negotiator: Tips and Pointers
In an official setting, negotiating skills are important by way of internal and external communication. Internal communication includes situations such as negotiating salaries, hiring, delegating work and other leadership responsibilities.
Externally, it pertains mainly to establishing arrangements such as deals with partner business, clients and customers. In either situation, strong negotiating skills would be helpful. Though there are numerous behavioral attributes that make a strong negotiator, how exactly does one go about the process well?
Our resident coach and speaker Makarand Utpat offered us the following tips relating to strong negotiation skills.
Keep it Cool
The first thing to remember when you negotiate is to keep cool. According to one source, over enthusiasm may sometimes be interpreted as aggression. As you can see, from a negotiation standpoint, this is counterproductive. Where you want to express an adequate amount of dedication towards what you are doing, you don’t want to come off as desperate.
In order to do this, elaborate on what you’re offering whether it is a product supply, a service deal or something else. Be clear on what’s being given and what is expected in return. Don’t appear too hungry and don’t make it seem like a rejection to your offer will make a difference to you. Whatever you do, do not rush. Sleep on final decisions if you need to. The cooler you are, the higher the chances that things will go your way.
Bring Your Real Self to the Table
Where you might think it is helpful for you to put on a false front for work or when you meet others for negotiations the opposite is true. Sure we all have slight variations in persona depending on where we are. You may not be as upfront in an official setting as you might be in an informal one.
That said, it is important not to fake it too much when you’re negotiating with someone. According to scientific studies, human beings are not overtly brilliant at detecting lies however do possess a strong subconscious sixth sense.
Though dull, this sense is enough to alert many that something is off or amiss. If you’re being inauthentic, fake or trying too hard to sell and image, people can tell. They won’t know what exactly it is that they pick up on, but they will know something is off. This is not helpful for any kind of negotiation.
You don’t need to be the version of yourself that your friends and family know. Just be the formal you. Keep it real! Being genuine will subconsciously move people to favor you and what you have to offer.
Learn to Listen
A failed aspect of the old hard selling approach is that the same relies on more talking and convincing and less listening. If you’re trying to negotiate in the business world of today, such strong-arm techniques won’t work.
Listening actively is a major part of negotiating today. Listening attentively means you can respond better to the person or party you’re negotiating with. Accurate responses and your attention will give customers, clients and others you’re communicating with the feeling of being heard. This in turn will make them a lot more receptive to what you have to say.
Furthermore, by listening, you can formulate better responses to what they have to say. When on a negotiating table, the better your response, the more the likelihood of things going your way.
Body Language is a Tell
Human communication is not just something that is auditory or verbal. We rely on numerous non-verbal cues when it comes to how we communicate. This is what is scientifically called body language. Aspects such as facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are some of the things that may be used during this subtle and often subconscious communication.
If you want to be a strong negotiator, you need to be attentive to the body language of others and like with listening, respond accordingly. Reading body language is also helpful if you want to know whether the person you are speaking to is responsive. You can tell when to go on, when to make a pitch and when to back off. If you read body language, your responses and interactions will be better timed and far more appropriate.
Apart from this check your own body language as the same does have immense impact! According to some sources, people often establish how they feel about you subconsciously seconds after you meet based on your body language.
Be Mindful of your Standing
Finally, knowing the boundaries of your relationship with the party you are negotiating with is always helpful. There are some relationships that are best kept formal and others where a degree of flexibility is acceptable.
Know the kind of bond or relationship you share with employees, clients, customers and business partners. Do not spread out too much if you feel the relationship will not allow it. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is close negotiations in order to allow room for the same to happen on another occasion!
The steps above as well as others can help ensure that all your negotiations are smooth, seamless and to your advantage. If you need more help with matters relating to running a business, Makarand Utpat is a good person to connect with.
His immense professional experience and expertise allow him to coach and mentor individuals looking to make it big in the business world today. If you require more support, just get in touch now!
Good luck with those negotiations!