Life is full of negotiations. Every time you’re in the middle of a conversation in which someone says I want or I need, you’re in a negotiation.
From personal encounters to high-stake corporate negotiations, the following tips will help guide you to achieving successful outcomes.
1. Build a Bridge
When choosing to negotiate you should work to achieve the goal of forming a trust-based partnership that facilitates each side to achieve their objectives.Whether you’re the seller or the buyer, you should aim to be the type of person that others want to do business with.
To do that, you must approach every opportunity to negotiate with a sense of deference, using Labels™ and Mirrors™ to build a bridge between you and your counterpart. One of the Rules of Negotiation Gravity is that individuals are 6x times more likely to do business with individuals they like…
2. Develop Trust
To achieve the outcomes you desire, you need to call out any negativity or adversity between you and your counterpart. The easiest way to do that is by launching into an Accusation Audit™ to defuse potential negatives harbored by the other side and show them you understand their pain points.
At the same time, you will also want to fortify any positivity present in the conversation and demonstrate a genuine interest in where your counterpart is coming from.
Never underestimate the role emotions play as you work toward achieving Tactical Empathy™—the precursor to trust-based influence.
When it comes down to it, trust is the essential element that guides and influences negotiations in a way that enables you to achieve your goals. Establish trust, and the results will follow.
3. Have a Plan
At Black Swan, we have a saying: People don’t rise to the occasion. They fall to their highest level of preparation.
That being the case, it is critical to develop a plan before you sit down at the table. You must recognize the value each of you brings to the process and enable the active involvement of your counterpart to reach the objectives of your negotiation.
Negotiations are fluid environments requiring you to be ready to adapt and address the changes and obstacles you encounter. Being willing to ‘listen to understand’ as opposed to ‘listen to respond’ may provide you with the previously unrevealed information for you need to make good decisions under these circumstances.You should also bring the right mindset to the table and be open to the possibility of achieving more than you expect.
4. Focus on Understanding
Many negotiators still operate under the assumption that negotiation is about winning and losing. But that’s not accurate.
Instead, effective negotiators are most interested in embarking on a path of discovery and understanding. They are interested in connecting with their counterparts and using Tactical Empathy to achieve trust-based influence and relationships.
To make the best decisions possible, negotiators need to uncover information known as Black Swans, hidden beneath the surface. To do that, they must figure out what is most important to the other side and create the opportunity to reciprocate.
When you’re nice to someone else, they are more inclined to be nice to you.
5. Cultivate Strong Relationships
Too many negotiators confuse negotiation with bargaining over price. Although price certainly plays a role in negotiations, it shouldn’t take center stage.
For the best results, you need to focus on building and nurturing strong relationships. After all, great relationships have the power to influence the deal beyond the price, service, or final agreement. Individuals always prefer to do business with others they trust at times making price points secondary to the over experience of negotiating a great deal.
When you form strong relationships, both sides will leave a negotiation with a sense of accomplishment—and in a better place than where they started.
In Search of More Negotiation Tips?
Mastering these five negotiation tips will help you improve your outcomes. But your learning journey doesn’t have to stop here.
For even more tips on how to navigate the negotiation process effectively, check this out.