Negotiations are all about giving a little and taking a little. Everyone wants to save face, so be diplomatic.
#1 Research. Gather as much pertinent information about the issue as possible, before negotiating. In other words, do your homework. You cannot make sensible decisions without understanding the other side’s situation. Negotiators who prepare will outperform those who don’t.
#2 Be optimistic. If you expect more, you will get more. It is a good idea to present benefits to other party – what’s in it for them. As Linda Swindling, a recognized Negotiation Expert (http://www.lindaswindling.com/), says “Ask Outrageously”. Basically, don’t be afraid to ask for a lot in a negotiation.
#3 Be Careful How You Offer. Never start off by saying “you wouldn’t take X for this, would you?” Nine times out of ten, their response will be “no, I would not.” Instead speak with confidence, and throw out a figure and always remember, the first one to speak after a tense moment often loses. Even if you have to wait a long time – it’s worth it! Silence can be awkward, but it’s awkward for the other party too. Just play the waiting game. It may just surprise you.
#4 Listen. A good negotiator must be a good listener. In fact, it is the most important negotiating skill. Put on your poker face. A person’s body language can give away their advantage. Some people are trained to read your body language. Keep them guessing!
#5 Train them to say “YES.” In Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Mr. Carnegie explains to his readers that it’s a good idea to get the other party to say yes, yes even before you are get to negotiations. This way they are already in agreement with you before talking about the more serious matter.
Don’t allow the other party to intimidate you or belittle you. You have the power to walk away. However, when you do walk away, make sure the relationship remains intact.
Concentrate on solving the issue. Do not take negotiating, personally.
As a final note, always put your negotiated agreement in writing.
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/Leszek Soltys.
About the Authors
Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. He is a frequent speaker at events and speaks to audiences on the 3 Laws of Empowerment – how you can prepare, plan and protect your business. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
Sonya Jackson is a legal assistant in the Dallas office of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC. Sonya can be contacted at email@example.com