We’re always negotiating whether we realize it or not. It’s a part of our daily lives with our family, friends, colleagues and customers, yet we can always learn to do a better job at it.
These are 5 simple rules to help make the transaction more pleasant for you and whomever you are negotiating with.
1. Always Ask
You not only ask for what you need, but what you want. If you don’t ask for what you want, you may never get it. This applies to both those making the offers as well as those receiving them. So many of us miss out on opportunities by simply forgetting this simple rule.
2. Know What You Want
This also entails what you don’t want, but you have to know what it is that you are after. Having a clear understanding of what your desired outcome is will help you as you go through the negotiating process. There could be several outcomes, therefore you need to decide on your priority interests and rank them as it is important to remember to trade items of less importance in order to secure items of more importance.
3. Prepare For Your Negotiation
You need to be prepared before you start negotiating, therefore you need to research and gather information to help guide you through the several outcomes that could arise. Having the knowledge and knowing how to act in the moment will give you an edge as you start to negotiate. Lack of planning often appears at the negotiating table as too much reliance on demands and being reactive. Good planning, on the other hand, can provide you with the direction needed to effective problem solving at the negotiating table.
4. Know Who You Are Negotiating With
Aside from gathering information on what you want your end result to be, we often forget to find out about who we are negotiating with. Through your network of help, ask colleagues or business partners if they know the person you will be negotiating with and what advice they have for you. It’s usually a mistake to approach negotiation as a casual encounter without much forethought.
5. It Should Be An Ongoing Relationship
In sales, those who are successful are the ones whose offers are accepted. Sounds simple, but in order to do this, you must build relationships with your customers. As you negotiate your offers with your customers, it is important to not only focus on the tactical issues but also the longer-term strategic concerns to ensure an ongoing relationship. In order to develop these ongoing relationships, an atmosphere of trust needs to be established so that even when the negotiations are settled, both sides feel like their concerns were taken care of and not taken advantage of.
As negotiation expert Dr. Chester Karrass puts it so eloquently, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”This article was contributed by Robert Driscoll, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Robert on Twitter at rsdriscoll.