Progressively, the trend of successful business negotiators has been identified as individuals who communicate well and find common ground with the other party. When negotiating, subtle changes in tone or badly picked words could cost you a deal and destroy a discussion that may have been on the right track.
As such, here are four things you should do to save your deals and boost your reputation as a negotiator.
1. Never Assume
Efficient and effective negotiations are accomplished by establishing a genuine connection where the two sides reach an understanding of what they need and how to achieve it. Extraordinary mediators are attentive and don’t make presumptions. Making assumptions about the other party is a sure way to destroy a good bargain.
2. Take as Much as You Give
Negotiating isn’t a popularity contest, so as politely but firmly as you can master, stand your ground. E.g., if the other party requests a 10% discount and don’t only give in. It says that you admit that your asking price was ridiculous in the first place.
When agreeing to a compromise, aim to get something out of it. Ask for a delivery extension or a long haul contract with the discount.
3. Don’t Try to Fill the Silence
As both parties try to exert dominance over the proceedings, there may be awkward silences as both sides await the other to give in. Don’t cave in! If it’s a question that was left hanging in the air, let it sit there until you get what it is you asked for.
4. Watch Your Language
It’ll be hard to work your way out of absolute statements like “my final offer.” You put yourself in a cage where your reputation is compromised when you break it or get a bad deal because you couldn’t take back your words.
However, with that in mind, steer clear of unsure words like “could” that subtly question or undermine the other side’s abilities. Opt for “would” which communicates that your request isn’t judgmental. On the other hand, watch out for words like “maybe” that makes the other party question you.
Language takes on multiple layers when negotiating, and the last point here is never to swear. Sounds simple enough right, but many people lose their cool when negotiations don’t go their way and start using obscene languages. Even if this happens, don’t engage them and always keep your temper in check.
Remember to keep calm and respectful as you negotiate. Negotiations aren’t contests or a showdown. Think of the response that Bruce Lee gives in the movie Enter the Dragon as he describes the art of Kung Fu, fighting without fighting – and that is the perfect way to approach negotiations.