Negotiation is a natural part of life that is occurring all the time on many levels. Sooner or later you’re going to have to negotiate something. Whether it’s a low-stake scenario like getting a late payment fee waived or something big like an investment deal, it’s going to happen. So you might as well get good at it. This post will serve as your “prep-work”. It will give you the tools you need to walk into a negotiation with your best foot forward.
Step 1: Prepare
Preparation in the negotiation process is very important. Just as you would never engage in any competition without first preparing, you must take the proper action to ensure you know what you’re doing at the negotiation table.
Be Yourself – Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. It will make you uncomfortable and the other party will pick up on it.
Identify Your Style – Don’t take on a style that is not natural to you. If you are naturally laid back then stick to that. If you are naturally energetic and charismatic then stick to that,
Be Consistent – It’s important that you stick to whatever path you choose in negotiation or you will appear indecisive.
Set Your Goal – Decide what is it that you really want. Never step into a negotiation without knowing what your really desire.
Get Ultra Specific – Write down your goal/target & bring it to the negotiation table.
Set Your Expectations High But Realistic – Aiming higher than usual will provide you with breathing room. Plus you never get what you don’t ask for.
Make It Justifiable – Ensure your goal is justifiable or the other party will write it off.
Practice Active Listening – Learn to master the art of listening to others. Listening enables you to read people, creates rapport & allows you to adapt.
Don’t Lie or Mislead – Never provide any false information or statements that you believe will cause the other party to agree.
Step Two: Utilize Leverage
“Leverage – To use (something) to maximum advantage”. Leverage is all around you. You must take the time to properly identify people, information or resources that will increase your chances of getting the best result possible.
Asses Social Landscape – Carefully identify context of the situation, environment, relationship status and norms of the negotiation. And be prepared to act in accordance with them.
Provide Proof/Evidence – Always be able to provide proof or evidence that supports your case for your expectations.
Gather intelligence – Visualize the negotiation in your mind and think about what the other party may say or what proof they may bring to support their case.
Identify The Best Audience – If possible, try to negotiate in the presence of an audience or party that you know will support your case.
Step Three: Save Time
Time is a precious commodity. It also has the power to destroy a negation in and of itself. It’s important that you don’t waste it.
Find The Decision Maker – Don’t waste your time trying to negotiate with someone who is not in the position to make the final decision.
Utilize Mutual Benefit – Position your goals with mutual benefit to the other party. Spending too mach time talking about what’s in it for you will create resistance.
Identify Objections – Figure out what common objections the other party may have against your case and be prepared to overcome them.
Identify Low Cost Concessions – If you cannot overcome an objection and/or must make a concession, look for low cost concessions or things that will not deplete you of resources.
Step Four: Control The Climate
The better you are at controlling the climate of the negotiation the better the chances are of you getting what you want.
Identify The Losing Side – Identify the side which has the most to lose if no deal is made. If it’s the other party then utilize that if it’s you, have some low cost concessions ready.
Identify Time Constraints – Identify any time constraints or circumstances that would cause the dealt not get done.
Identify control factors – Find any factors that you could gain control over that the other party would need and use as a concession if necessary.
Identify allies – Are there any allies that could be used to effectively support your position. If so, find them.
What you have here is a perfect prep list for entering any negotiation.
If you’d like to know the 3 steps you must follow to position yourself to win once you’re actually in a negotiation, then check out The Maverick Negotiation Quick Start Pack.