How to Have the Upper-Hand During a Business Negotiation.
Before I proceed, I’d like to remind you that just as you’re reading this, someone else is also trying to find out the worst mistakes he can make while negotiating. This means you’re not the only one trying to buckle your negotiation shoes.
So, no matter what you read online, your victory in that negotiation still depends on how well you can implement whatever you learn.
As far as business negotiation is concerned, there’s one question everyone will always ask; “What’s in it for me?” If you don’t have an answer to this question, you shouldn’t be in that negotiating room. In fact, you shouldn’t even be in business at all.
Asides business now, negotiating is part of our everyday life.
If you don’t sell anything at all, you at least have to buy something, it could be a car, a house, a gold wristwatch or even groceries. If the seller names a price you’re not down with, it’s time to put on your negotiation cap.
This is quite different from how our Nigerian Mothers price foodstuff in a typical Nigerian market. No doubt, they’re super good! If you doubt me, just try to find one and tell her you’d like to join her next trip to the market, you’d be amazed at how eloquent and confident they can get while negotiating.
But then again, it’s still not the same with business negotiation. Considering the crucial role negotiation plays in the success of any business, it takes more discipline, undiluted gut and patience to win the game.
Business negotiation is nothing close to a fluke, you don’t get what you ask for, you only get what you negotiate.
To get the best out of every negotiation, follow these rules:
Don’t Do All the Talking
The worst negotiators are the ones who love to show off their speaking skills and tend to dominate the meeting. Instead of dwelling excessively on your values and other irrelevant issues, try to listen attentively and grasp as much information as possible.
You need to truly understand the situation from the other party’s point of view, understand their interest and what’s important to them. Avoid speculation; don’t keep views about what you “wish or think is important to them”, get your facts right and come up with the best possible replies.
It’s called empathy, use it to your advantage.
Before jumping on any deal, you must understand every little detail about the company and who you’re negotiating with. You have to carry out an in-depth research so you don’t end up losing out or getting exploited.
Gather all the details you can on the company’s history, culture, business partners (Past, present, and prospective), website, articles, reviews, etc.
You can always use Google and LinkedIn to gather information about the company and the negotiator. Depending on how important the deal is to you, speak to some of their business partners, staffs, colleagues and competitors.
The research will help you capitalize on your strength and identify the other party’s weaknesses.
Don’t Burn Bridges
In business, you get to meet the good, bad and atrocious. Who knows, maybe the atrocious offers the best deal and profit, you just have to roll with them and get what you want out of that partnership. This is where emotional management comes in.
Some negotiators aim at sabotaging the deal by frustrating all your efforts, it’s probably their own strategy. As long as the other party isn’t pulling out outrightly and the benefits are worth the pain, take the high road and remain professional.
Avoid getting rude or nasty, negotiations are rarely one-off, they’re serialized by nature, make sure people want to keep doing business with you over and over again.
Always remember, the best revenge is victory.
Compromise Reasonably & Review Your Benefits
If you have to engage in any business negotiation, you must be willing to give up something for the benefit of the other party, allow them to feel that sense of achievement, but do so wisely. If you make a move to compromise, they’d also reciprocate.
In every decision you make, keep your benefits in check. If the other party’s request isn’t worth anything or defeats your reason for negotiation, don’t take it.
Be Prepared to Walk Away
This might be hard, but it’s very necessary if the situation warrants it. Be prepared to take a walk if the negotiation doesn’t tick any item on your checklist. This is business, the major aim is to gain and if this seems impossible, it’s time to follow that Plan B.
Wait! Do you have a Plan B? If you don’t, do yourself a favour by drafting one before engaging in any form of business negotiation.
Also, conceal your plans from the other party. If they find out you have alternatives, they might just use it against you.
Meanwhile, this blog post will be extended to a second page. I’d simply publish the concluding part tomorrow. Kindly drop your comments and contributions.