Professionals interact with all different types of people every day. They encounter their boss, suppliers, and other employees. Many of these interactions involve negotiating.
Here are a few examples of when you may need to negotiate:
- Selling customers on the value of products and services
- Agreeing on contract terms with service providers (i.e. internet)
- Getting good deals from suppliers
- Negotiating your salary before accepting a job offer
These negotiations can have a big impact on your career. If you’re able to score a deal with a material supplier that helps your company save money, you could land that promotion you’ve had your eye on.
And that is precisely why you should want to improve your negotiation skills!
In this article, we’ll discuss five expert secrets to becoming a better negotiator. Let’s hop to it so you can impress everyone at work with your incredible skill set!
1. Be Prepared
Before you go into a negotiation, it’s essential to prepare. In order to get what you want out of the meeting, you have to figure out what the other party wants.
For example, if you are trying to sell a piece of software to a customer, you have to think about why they might need it. What problem does it solve for them, and how can you convince them that this is the best solution to spend their money on?
Understanding their needs is important. But for the negotiation to go well, you also need to anticipate their reaction. If they push back on any of your points, what are you going to say?
Before your meeting, learn as much as you can about them. You can use this information to predict what they want to get out of the meeting. This will help you negotiate smarter.
2. Listen Carefully
A lot of information is exchanged during a negotiation, so if you want it to go well, you have to listen to the other person.
Throughout the meeting, take notes so that you have a good overview of the interaction. You’ll be able to refer back to your notes if you forget anything that was said.
You may run into some issues along the way, such as the other person needing something for the deal to work out. That’s a piece of information you don’t want to miss, but if you’re too focused on talking, you’ll miss it. The better you listen, the fewer misunderstandings you’ll encounter.
And, if things get a little heated, it’s okay to push the pause button for a second. It’s better to clarify misunderstandings before they ruin the deal. Clear communication is crucial for both parties to get what they want.
So, listen carefully every step of the way so you both can be happy with the outcome.
3. Believe in Your Value
Listening skills and the ability to prepare are two traits that all great negotiators share. But they also share another quality:
Don’t give the other person a reason to doubt you. If they question you, the negotiation won’t go in your favor. And you don’t want that to happen!
Are you trying to get a raise? Before the meeting, jot down a few reasons why you believe you deserve a raise. Write down some facts and figures about your performance to remind yourself how much value you bring to the company.
Then, you’ll be able to walk into the negotiation with the confidence that you’ll get a raise. You are your own advocate, so don’t forget that during the meeting.
When it comes to negotiating, you have to know your worth. If you’re absolutely positive that you deserve what you’re asking for, convincing the other person will come naturally.
4. Be Direct
It doesn’t make sense to beat around the bush during a negotiation. The other person should know what you hope to get out of the meeting.
Being direct shows the other party you’re confident and know exactly what you want. That’s important when you’re trying to reach a solution that benefits both of you.
At the same time, you should remain respectful and calm. It won’t help the situation if you allow your feathers to be ruffled. Maintain a professional attitude while still demanding respect.
In the worst-case scenario, you may have to tell someone that their request is unreasonable. At that point, you’ll need to decide whether to come to an agreement or walk away.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Even if you’re new to negotiating, you can still do it well.
It may take some time to learn how to handle different situations. But, keep in mind that every meeting will be different, and that each one is an opportunity for improvement.
There’s no time like the present to learn to negotiate!
It’s likely that you work with some skilled negotiators, so don’t be afraid to ask for tips. They’ll give you some pointers, and may even do a few practice runs with you.
You might be surprised by how good you are. And even if you’re not great right off the bat, you’ll get better with practice.
Whether you’re asking for a raise or trying to get a better deal on a car, negotiating is hard.
Luckily, you can continue to work on your skills, and these secrets will help. Just make sure to prepare before each meeting, listen to the other person, speak directly, and have confidence in yourself.
And as with anything else: practice, practice, practice! Soon, you’ll be a master negotiator who can haggle with the best of ‘em!