5 Successful Negotiation Tips

Most of us negotiate on a daily basis without knowing it. Any time we enter into a discussion where we try to find common ground and agree an outcome with the other party, we are negotiating.

If we think that we have to bargain for something more than we are being offered, whether it is something that you want to achieve in your career, when you are buying something or just dealing with other people as you go about your daily business, we negotiate to get to a favourable outcome.

Whilst many people say that negotiation is an art, it can bring out the best and worst in people, depending upon how important the subject of discussion is to each individual involved. Whilst it can also be fun, negotiation is not generally a game that people can play anytime, as it usually means a dispute or tension of some kind. This is why so many people view negotiation as something to be avoided.

Since it involves two-way communication, the outcome of every negotiation is influenced by the mind-set, abilities, and techniques used by the parties to the negotiation. However, learning the right way of negotiating will vastly improve your chances of achieving a successful outcome and the following five tips for successful negotiation will help you:

1. Time it right
The outcome of any negotiation is dependent upon getting the timing right. To achieve this you should try to organize and plan the circumstances for the negotiation beforehand. This also involves considering the possible outcomes of the negotiation so that you can understand the variables that are most important to you, such as bonuses, price, delivery times, credit terms, guarantees, etc.

2. Manage yourself
Before you enter into a negotiation, you should evaluate yourself first. Are you able to manage your own feelings? Keep in mind that when emotions run high about the topic under discussion, the outcome is less likely to be as productive as it could be if the discussion is business-like.

3. Know what you are getting into
Do you know who are you dealing with? What are the traits, attitude, and beliefs of the person you’re going to negotiate with? Are they the type of person that is likely to work with you to achieve a win-win situation, i.e. one where both of you are satisfied with the outcome?

4. Be attentive. Learn to listen well!
One of the reasons why negotiations are unsuccessful or turn negative is that many people do not practice attentive listening. People are so busy stressing their points and stating their desires that they forget to listen properly to the other side of the discussion. Keep in mind that negotiating has to be a two-way communication to be effective – it will never work if the discussion is one- way traffic.

Experts say that in order to have a successful negotiation, people should learn to apply the so- called 80/20 ruling. This means that people should spend 80% of their time listening and only 20% talking. If you use this guideline you will definitely be able to understand the other side of the story, and be much more likely to achieve a successful negotiation outcome.

5. Be ready to walk away
Never be pressured to win a negotiation. Keep in mind that it may not always be a win-win situation for you. In fact, one of the greatest mistakes people commit is that they are too determined to achieve their own goals, such that they create an all or nothing scenario in their own minds.

You should always try to be open to alternative outcomes, so that you always have a choice. But, never assume when you negotiate that there is a point of no return. In your own preparation you should establish your own point for walking away if the negotiations are not going well for you and you have no chance of achieving the outcome that you are seeking.

Remember that successful negotiations always follow a logical pattern and if you use the above tips to plan your own approach you will definitely increase your chance of achieving the successful outcome that you desire.