The Art of Negotiation
To be clear, a negotiator is the one responsible for making negotiations, and a negotiation is a deal between two or more in a party designed to reach a useful outcome over certain issues.
Becoming a better negotiator is a beneficial skill to learn that takes consistent practice. Whether you have to learn how to negotiate salary or are after learning how to get the raise you deserve, negotiating properly can help you earn as much as 25% more than if you negotiate poorly. Negotiating can be tricky, but it can increase your opportunities and improve your life in many ways. It’s a skill you can develop.
If you want to be a cut above the rest of the negotiators, follow the five steps below:
Step One: Always bid first and higher – If you are selling something, don't assume the buyer will pay higher than what your goal is. It is likely that if you allow the buyer to provide a price first, they will always low ball, and it will make it harder to negotiate a better value. When bidding first, it is also essential to give a number that is higher than your end goal.
Step Two: Listen before action – Listen before you reply. Let the other party finish any of their thoughts first. Silence may be awkward, but this can be used to your advantage. Most likely, the other party will fill the silence with valuable information to lead you to a better result. Not every response needs a reply, either. If someone claims the price is too high, let the silence make them think about their reasons why.
Step Three: Avoid negative emotions – It is only natural to feel tension when negotiating but don’t allow the other party to feel this tension. It will only lead to a roadblock that prevents success. Try to think of it as a challenge and something that is fun rather than something confrontational.
Step Four: Make it a win/win situation – Becoming a superior negotiator does not mean one party must lose. In fact, it means the opposite. For example, often, the car salesperson will say something like, “Let’s find something that works for both of us.” Then they will likely tack on extras such as car maintenance but not lower the monthly price. Now the price seems more worth it to the buyer while the seller still gets what they want out of the deal; that is a win/win situation.
Step Five: Research and more research – Don't go into any negotiation before knowing what you are talking about. Research as much as you can on the topic that you are dealing with. For example, if you are trying to negotiate your rent (believe it or not this does happen) then it is a good idea to research all the prices in the zip code you plan on living in as well as crime statistics or other factors that can be negative to allow a decrease.
Keep practicing these five steps, and you are sure to benefit the next time you must put your negotiating skills to the test. Remember, learn as much as possible so you can exude confidence and always look to help each party, and you will be sure to reap the benefits of becoming a master negotiator.