Top Twelve Tips for Business Negotiations

Top Twelve Tips for Business Negotiations
by Ian Nock
The first rule that you must always keep in mind when trying to land a business deal is that everything on the table is negotiable. It does not matter which side of the table you are on as long as you have the right skills to negotiate and get what you want out of the deal. Some business people are born with an innate ability to convince customers to buy their goods. Well, if you are not born with this golden gift you have only one option left; learn how to talk your way into the right kinds of deals. Negotiation skills cannot be learned overnight but they can be incorporated into our everyday routines making them second nature in the long run. Below are a few tips that can turn you into a business mogul in no time.
Learn the BP motto- Be Prepared
This may sound simple and very unhelpful for someone in an intense business negotiation but the truth is that it is what underlies all the decisions they make when they get to the hot seat. Ever heard the phrase “never underestimate the enemy?” well it is true in business negotiations as well. Being prepared is not just about simple things like looking the part and arriving on time. Know the other party, what they want out of the deal, what they consider as their priority, what you need to ask them, what they are likely to ask you and you cannot know any of this without prior research. Learning to prepare yourself well in advance always gives you the upper hand at any negotiation table.
Have a standard tailored response
Sometimes having elevator speeches (short summaries of your points) is much better than a wordy and not very concise response. After knowing who your negotiation partners are, figure out what language style they relate to best and what appeals to them speech-wise. Will they respond to more formal phrases or informal ones? This coupled with the right body language will bring more chance of success in reaching your negotiation goals.
Be an ardent listener
Don’t be a good listener or an OK listener. Always be an ardent listener. Listening closely to those you are negotiating with can help you pick up on hidden undertones that you may otherwise miss out on.
Never unilaterally disarm
Always remember that you are in the negotiation to get something out of it too. For this reason you must tailor your negotiation style in such a way that you never offer too much yourself without anything in return.
Do not fixate around your opponents offer
When buying something from your business partners do not let your bargaining tactics be dictated by an impromptu offer they may make. Make your own offer heard so that at the end of the bargaining you reach a win-win situation.
Time it just right
Making a pitch is as crucial as the last moments before shooting a ball in a football game. If your timing is right you will never miss. Choose the right moments to throw in a pitch during the negotiation.
Know your walk away point
As much as it is a negotiation, you must know when the deal is just not good enough to fulfil your objectives. Walking away from an offer can earn you respect amongst your peers if fuelled by the right reasons.
Culture difference
Whatever negotiation method you come up with, keep in mind that your business partners will not always share your cultural background. Find out what is done in their culture and use it. You might surprise them pleasantly. For instance, the position of participants and their rank around a meeting table is extremely important in Japanese culture.
Control the environment
Using a combination of people skills and an ability to organise yourself well, you can control the negotiating environment to work in your favour. Negotiating over a business lunch or simply offering drinks such as water can provide you with the best reason for your partner to seal the deal faster.
Do not be too hard lined
Business involves a lot of give and take, and sometimes you must just be willing to compromise. Just be sure to have a no-no zone otherwise the other party can use that as your Achilles heel in future negotiations.
New opportunities
A wise business executive goes into a negotiation with clear benefits that he needs at the end of it. This must however not blind you to new possibilities that may arise during discussions.
Have a blueprint
If you know where you are going it does not matter what road the negotiation takes. Plan ahead and have clear goals and you will definitely make it.
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