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What are Negotiation Skills?

What are Negotiation Skills?

What are Negotiation skills?

Here are the most important negotiation skills:

  1. Find the middle ground solution that links what you want, with what they want.
  2. Don't agree to the first proposal.
  3. Prepare a list of negotiable variables.
  4. Never give-away concessions for free.
  5. Prepare your entry and exit points in advance.
  6. Always have an alternative you can turn to, if things go wrong.
  7. Never act on emotion, always act on logic.
  8. Maintain a polite and professional manner.

1. Look for the common ground that links what you want, with what they want.

Negotiation Circle

Imagine three intersecting circles:

  1. The first circle contains what you want,
  2. The second contains what the other person wants,
  3. The third contains what is logically possible.

The intersection is where you will find the middle-ground solution.

Notice how small, the middle ground solution is when compared to the whole shape. This explains why a negotiated solution is sometimes difficult to find.

Note that negotiation means that you must know;

  • What you want from the situation.
  • What the other person wants.
  • What is possible; and what is NOT.

2. Don't agree to the first proposal.

From the above, it seems obvious that you should say "No" to their first proposal.

Why? Because their first offer is not their best offer.

Nobody with any brains offers their best offer first.

Even if they claim that their first offer is their best offer, you can rest assured, it isn't.

Behind their first offer is their second, third and even fourth offers.

You need to explore that territory.

And you won't do that if you say "Yes", too soon.

Say "No" to their first offer and discover what are their better offers.

3. Prepare a list of negotiable variables.

A negotiable variable is something that you can add into your proposal (or something you can subtract) that will make your offer more attractive to the other party, but will also protect your best interests.

In order to negotiate effectively, prepare a list of these "negotiable variables" and use them as bargaining chips.

Prepare these in advance of the negotiation.

4. Never give concessions for free.

When in a negotiation, never give away your bargaining chips for free.

Never GIVE concessions; instead, TRADE them.

The rule is: If I give to you, you must give to me. I will give something to you, ONLY IF you will give me something in return.

This is the cardinal rule of all negotiations.

Never give concessions for free.

Negation means "give and take".

5. Prepare your negotiation "entry" and "exit" points in advance.

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end.
And every negotiation should have a beginning, a middle and an end.

  • The beginning is where you will enter the negotiation with your first offer.
  • The middle is where you are in negotiation trying to find a middle ground solution.
  • The end is when you either do find a solution; or you fail to find a solution and you have to walk away with a NO DEAL outcome.

A No Deal is a perfectly acceptable solution to a negation.

No Deal is better than one in which you accept what THEY want, but at your expense.

6. Always have a practical alternative to an unacceptable final offer.

Always have a Plan B.

Plan B is what you will do, if your negotiations fail to find a middle ground solution.

Having a practical alternative to an unacceptable final offer empowers you to walk away from an bad solution.

7. Never act on emotion, always act on logic.

Negotiations are often emotional affairs. But it is important to NOT be driven by emotions of greed, anger, upset, pride or fear.

Instead, you should order your affairs according to a logical evaluation of all the available evidence.

We call this principle, the Law of Logic.

8. Maintain a polite and professional manner.

This logical approach will enable you to maintain a cordial, professional manner, during your negotiations.

Don't be too friendly and congenial.

And don't allow any negative emotions to express themselves.

Instead, be always clear, rational, friendly and professional.

Then you will get the best results possible from every negotiation.

The Art of Negotiation

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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