Six-step warm up exercise before you start any business negotiation

You can’t get what you want all the time, especially in the business field. You must work hard to attain greatness; fortunately, as long as you’re prepared you can surpass any type of business dilemma. Negotiating with people who hate negotiations can be tough, but even if things don’t go as planned, there are still many techniques you can use to land good deals. Here’s a six-step warm up exercise to help you win business negotiations.

Commonwealth Games Business Conference 2014

Step 1 – decide on a strategy and stand by it

Many people wrongfully assume that negotiations are about win-lose situations. This happens in competitive business fields where someone always ends up with nothing. The strategy is a viable one, so if you want to use it, then go ahead. However, win-lose business tactics create a lot of tension. Don’t expect to do business with a partner you just stripped of everything he had. Win-win negotiations on the other hand, are a much better approach. Let’s see why on step 2.

Step 2 – benefits of win-win negotiations

A negotiation is an attentive exploration of your position of your opponent’s position. The goal is usually to settle on an agreement that can benefit all the parties involved. Even though some people would rather fight for a bigger share of the pie, others consider that win-win deals are much more beneficial. Negotiating a win-win involves a lot of communication; be open to an opponent, share important facts and don’t hesitate to highlight concerns, too. In some way, you must understand what your partner wants to settle on a good deal. Check out step 3 to see how that’s done.

Jim McColl, OBE, Chairman, Clyde Blowers Capital at Commonwealth Games Business Conference 2014

Step 3 – understand your opponent

A lot of people see negotiations as a daunting endeavor. The truth is the process doesn’t have to be that nerve-wracking provided that you can understand your opponent’s needs. When you know what a partner wants, it becomes easier for you to come up with a counter-offer. You can anticipate their moves and thus gain more time to make a decision and negotiate a favorable deal.

Let’s assume you’re about to negotiate with a company that’s facing bankruptcy. But you don’t know that and that company certainly won’t tell you. You would start making assumptions about their performance and even suppose the company’s doing great. This example is meant to highlight that lack of information can have severely damage your start-up. Not knowing that you’re about to close a deal with bad company will have repercussions on your business’s reputation. Let’s talk more about the importance of entering a negotiation prepared on step 4.

Step 4 – know as much as possible about your opponent

Experts agree that preparation is the key in business negotiation. Have the right attitude when entering a meeting and don’t allow opponents to intimidate you with bogus allegations. If you can sense that they’re making unfounded claims, ask for proof. Make sure you’ve done your homework in advance; you should have a lot of information about your opponent – past customers, former deals (both successful and unsuccessful), financial data, and so. Speak up every time they try to deceive you and you might succeed.

asian american business conference

Step 5 – engage in a conversation

Before starting to negotiate, start a conversation. Walk into the meeting and open up a dialogue. Ask trivial questions like “the weather is just gorgeous today, I might just go for a drink after this” or “I see that everyone’s looking friendly today, so let’s close a good deal”. Don’t be afraid to break the ice, and if your opponents are relaxed, you can even tell a joke to light up the mood.

Step 6 – its ok to walk away

You can’t always know for sure that a business negotiation will end with a good deal. Your goals and objectives may not coincide with the goals and objectives of your opponent. It’s not the end of the world to say “no” and walk away. However, keep a professional attitude and always leave room for future discussions.

There are numerous tactics and strategies one can use to win business negotiations. Sometimes, all you need is a bit of preparation. Prior to the meeting, make sure your objectives are clearly laid out. Have a bottom line and minimum price in mind; if you can’t persuade opponents to agree to your terms, it’s best to walk away.

By Steve Brown and TheGapPartnership.com!

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