3 Basic Tips To Become Better At Negotiating

By on February 27, 2018

Sure there are people with job titles that specifically label them as “Negotiators”. But whether you agree to it or not, every job, or even everything you do, requires you to negotiate.

And when your job has a primary focus on wheeling and dealing, you can sometimes hit a brick wall preventing you to move forward.

You might think that you are more than qualified for the job as you scored an “A” in negotiation class. And you might feel that you are performing very well in your corporate capacity. But it is usually this overflowing self-worth that stops people from getting to the next level of skills.

The worse thing is that you might not be as good as you think.

This is when a lot of “professional” negotiators idle out. They simply stop moving and improving with the times. Choosing instead to hold onto their past conquests.

If you think that you might be in such a period of your career, maybe these 3 simple tips can help you reignite your mojo in corporate dealings.

Get back to basics.

1) Look at the deals from the other side of the table

Practicing empathy is one of the oldest techniques taught in negotiation trainings.

And as we get more used to a job position, we can often forgot that strategies and tactics need to be in place for a better calculated chance of success.

It is a very basic rookie mistake to make when you fail to see things from the perspective of your opponent.

Because when you are able to immerse yourself in other people’s shoes, you can start seeing what their main concerns are and pull the deal closer to your objectives.

If you are a procurement officer, you might be puzzled at why a vendor is refusing to give you a better wholesale discount when he was so willing to do so 2 weeks ago.

But if you look deeper and attempt to decipher what is going on in his mind, you might find out that he had to hit a high sales target 2 weeks ago which explains the concession.

Now that his sales target is lower, he is no longer willing to offer too much compromise.

2) There are always motivations that you don’t know about

You cannot realistically enter the dealing room fully knowing all the positions being lined up by your opponent.

Even if you are able to somehow lay out all their options, individuals could be motivated by personal reasons that will never be reveal to you.

Different people have different personalities and approach to things.

Sure. You might know exactly what is logically required to bring negotiations to a close. But sometimes an ego problem could prevent your opponent from closing at a position that makes perfect sense to all parties involved.

You need to approach every negotiation with an open mind while trying to feel out those at the other side of the table. Because sometimes, even the most straight forward deals can turn into a disturbing mess when there is a clash of egos and personalities.

In big ticket items like real estate, various factors and influencers can come into the picture whose inputs will have a lot of weight in shifting talks towards a variety of directions.

The best you can do is do your research, have an open mind, and don’t get too arrogant with your assumptions.

It would be good as well if you don’t behave like a jerk.

3) You are the main determinant of the outcome

There is a reason why some people just seem to always emerge from high powered meetings with their heads held high and have their reputations enhanced. Sometimes even in the most pessimistic of circumstances.

If you have witnessed this in real life yourself, you would know that the individual is the single most important variable that determines the outcomes of deals.

Do you have the proper skills?

Did you know enough about what you needed to know?

Do you have a competent support staff on your end?

Did the team you picked yourself perform for you?

The truth is that if the results of the negotiations were not up to scratch, you are probably at fault for the failure.

You can’t blame your secretary as she did what you wanted her to. You can’t blame your attorney as you directed him on what you wanted. And you certainly cannot blame the cranky projector as you did not ensure that it was working flawlessly.

You were simply negotiating at a lesser intensity compared to your opponent. And maybe even with less conviction.

It’s so easy to blame everything else but yourself.

If you can tell that you are the actual culprit of failure and too high-esteemed to admit it to your colleagues, maybe it’s time to take a step back and review your own performances and takes steps to improve.

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