Never dive into any Negotiation, first know where you are and what it is you want to achieve.
Here are some tips to get you going:
- Agree on the terms:
Know where all parties agree and disagree – the main issues become clear and areas of possible agreement come to light. Look for possible areas of agreement during the negotiation – it sets a balanced tone and all parties can move forward. By defining the scope of the dispute, you have begun to take subtle control of the negotiating process.
- How does the other party see you:
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see the world from their point of view to understand why you are in this position. It does not matter if you agree or disagree with whatever they see or believe, but you will do well to understand it and have the advantage in knowing how to present your case whilst negotiating.
- See it through their eyes:
Your success lies in the ability to allow the other party to still maintain the beliefs they hold most important. If they view themselves as “tough negotiators,” find ways to stress their “toughness” – directly or indirectly.
- Get the facts right:
Never make false statements. Your strength comes from having more and accurate information than the other party. Do your homework, so that you can confidently speak of many facets of the issues at hand during the negotiation.
- Keep your cool:
Negative emotion will never give you the advantage. Raising your voice in anger, shouting, being rude will ultimately work against you and could weaken your position. By remaining silent at the right moment can give you the upper hand.
- Find issues that all can agree to:
Come to a fair solution that will maximize the outcome for both of you. Agree on certain standards against which the results can be measured. By framing the issues gives you greater control of the process and can set the stage to win by framing the standard.
- Stick to your principles:
When something is important to you, stick to your guns. The other party will respect you for it. You have something the other party wants; they need you as much as you need them.
- Don’t be intimidated:
You do not need to automatically accept the contract terms that is offered to you. Remember, it’s their job to get the best possible outcome for their company. That’s your job too. Be particularly wary of unfairly punitive contract clauses, such as late fees or liquidated damages.
- Respect the process:
In a formal tender, buyers and sellers are bound by rules to ensure a fair outcome for both parties. If a buyer or their employees unwittingly let confidential information slip, it could jeopardise everyone’s chances. If tendering is part of your business development strategy, keep it clean.
- Know when to walk away:
If the deal is unacceptable, cut your losses early. Never accept loss-making contracts hoping to make up the margin along the way. This rarely happens and the lingering ill-feeling is bad for everyone.