The world changes with dizzying speed and the business environment and rules change with it. The same speed of changes relates to negotiation practices that are touted as a panacea for any instance of business negotiations. This is why, for some, traditional pieces of advice work well, and for others, these tips seem counterintuitive or contradict their ample practical experience. So, how should one approach those important business negotiations if the old rules do not seem to work anymore? To help you in this trouble, we have systematized the actual workable negotiation trainings solutions that were tested by gurus of business and legal advice. They may contradict what you have heard about ‘proper’ negotiation, but they do work in the majority of situations in modern business and are bound to bring you the desired result.
- Do your homework on the negotiation opponents before you sit down at the table with them. Research them, their business, and their potential SWOT in this deal.
- Listen more than talk. It works everywhere, not just in business or negotiation trainings.
- Be polite and professional (at least maintain the appearance of it). You may need or want to make more business with these people in the future.
- Know your aces, alternatives, and weaknesses in this deal. Who is in a better position, who can dictate the rules, and who has to concede?
- Remember the poker jokes? They work pretty well in business talks, too. Know how to bluff and when to drop out of the game.
- Be the one who calls the tune, that is, drafts the preliminary version of a contract to be signed. Then, you can put into it the things you need and shape them the way you need them. The other party will have to negotiate the changes.
- Watch the time, like they do in the negotiation trainings. The longer the negotiations run (in terms of months, we mean), the lower the chances to strike a deal.
- Look critically at the rule of gradual ‘giving in’ in return for getting concessions from the other party. You may get stuck in a deadlock, where the opposing party demands more and more concessions without giving something in return. Know where to stop and walk away.
- Skip the most complicated points of discussion and move to ones easier to resolve. Getting an agreement on many smaller points may help you find a palatable compromise on the bigger issue.
- Learn to ask the right questions and to talk only to people who have the authority to make decisions and concessions in the negotiation framework. First: ask about pricing brackets, additional services, benefits, advantages that the product you plan to purchase has over the competitors, and so on. Second: talking to people who cannot give you answers to the mentioned questions or say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to your offer is a waste of time.
- Do not jump right at the first best offer and always raise the stakes, at least to maintain decorum. It is one of the elements of business etiquette rules. If the other party can negotiate with you and feel they have ‘wrung’ something from you, the deal will be concluded fast and on your terms.
- Hire an experienced lawyer and have them by your side, whether in the talks or the contract drafting.
These are only the outlines of how to lead the modern talks in the direction you need. Yet, you can go through the efficient negotiation trainings delivered by the people with a record of successful deals and talks and become a pro in this important communication art.