3 crucial rules for a successful negotiationMunira Rangwala
Negotiations are a part of everyday life. On one hand, we negotiate with our kids about how much homework they need to complete, and on the other hand, we negotiate with clients and customers on a daily basis. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to have a peaceful negotiation that can both parties.
Business negotiations are not very different from everyday negotiations. Whether you're negotiating a deal or a deadline, you need to develop the patience and skills that will help you reach a decision that is acceptable to everyone involved.
Here are three crucial rules to help you make the best out of any negotiation, however difficult it may be:
Learn to listen
When you pay close attention to what the other person has to say, you gather details on what it is they actually want. Ask the other side's position first. If they play hardball, let them know that it will be difficult for you to give them what they want if they don't tell you what it is. Search for common ground. For example, if you're looking to buy a house, ask the seller for his opening position and then state yours. Find out what you and the seller can compromise on. If emotions run high and the argument heats up, state the terms you are willing to give up in order to move forward and ask the opposite party to state theirs too.
Negotiating is a lot like playing Poker. You need to show a certain amount of confidence the moment you sit down at the table. If you let the other person know that you're insecure and nervous, they will latch on to your weakness and use your vulnerability to their advantage. Make sure that you display confident body language and assertive verbal skills while the negotiation is on so that the opposite party doesn't walk all over you. However, there is a fine line between being confident and arrogant. Cross it and you will be doomed.
Know what you want
Often after a negotiation ends, one party emerges with a raw deal. If you don't want to be that party, you should know and set your limits before the negotiation even begins. Establish your limits so that you don't end up giving away more than you bargained for. Several times, people break down because they have offered more than they can realistically provide, and this hurts both the parties in the long run. For example, if you're offering your services, always establish a bottom limit. How low are you willing to go? If you are not willing to work for less than Rs 30,000, then be firm and let the opposite party know about your final limit.
Employ these techniques to get the best out of any negotiation. With time, you will raise your game and get better results with every new negotiation that you undertake.