Are people walking all over you?
Are you always on the losing side of Win-Lose situations?
With business confidence down and decision makers becoming more and more wary of the market place, it is imperative that we are able to negotiate better deals. Failure to do this creates unfavourable or even lost deals.
Positioning is everything in negotiation. The way that the situation is initially approached, and when, are more influential on outcomes than all of the other negotiating tactics and techniques combined. Below are 10 ways that could assist in your future client interactions.
1. Have an alternative – negotiate with freedom of choice:
If you can’t walk away because you need the deal so badly or perhaps the other side is the only one in town, then you are placing yourself at a serious disadvantage.
2. Negotiate to acquire a win-win deal:
If you start to negotiate before receiving this commitment you’ll concede ground and the customer will attain a better starting point.
3. Aim for the best outcome:
If you’re buying, aim very low – but do it politely. The seller can often achieve a higher selling price than he anticipates if he hears what the buyer is prepared to offer first.
4. Let the other side go first:
Knowing the other person’s starting point before you have to give your own, is clearly an advantage to you. For example, if selling, ask the other side if they have an ‘outline budget’.
5. List all of the other side’s requirements before negotiating:
Establish what the other person needs, including personal and emotional aspects. Everything that is part of or related to a deal has a value. Everything has a cost to you or your organisation.
6. Trade concessions – Don’t give them away
Never give away a concession without getting something in return.
7. Keep the whole picture in your mind:
The buyer’s tactic will be to separate out single issues, or introduce new ones later. If you allow this to happen your position will be eroded.
8. Keep searching for variables, concessions, ‘bargaining chips’, incentives:
A variable or tradable is any factor that can be altered and which has a real or perceived value. The other person may not be totally open, or even fully aware of all the possible variables that are of interest, so keep looking for them.
9. Keep accurate notes:
Controlling the negotiation is vital. The other person may forget, misunderstand, or attempt to distort the interpretation of what was discussed and agreed. Keeping notes shows that you are in control, professional, and enables you to summarise and assess continually.
10. Summarise and clarify the negotiation as you go:
This avoids misunderstandings developing, accidentally or otherwise. These can be catastrophic, not so much because of the way they affect the structure of the unfolding deal, but because they undermine the rapport and the trust, which is critical to being able to do business in the first place.