Negotiations are at the same time very simple and very complex activities.
Have you ever looked back on a negotiated settlement and felt you were taken advantage of?
Know exactly what you do and don’t want. This is easy to say, and pretty obvious, but I so often see people start a negotiation without really having a clear understanding what they want to get from it.
When you receive an offer, or a concession from the other party, check how that helps you achieve what you want. It is really easy to be blown of course by a new offer that seems to be attractive, but doesn’t give you the key thing you need.
Just as you need to be sure what you want, you need to be as sure as you can about what the other party wants. You will have to make concessions and offers to them in order to get a winning agreement, and so you need to know what will get their interest. You should spend as much time working out what the other party wants as you do working out what you want.
Never compromise on it. If you don’t know where that point is you could end up deeply regretting the final deal you negotiated.
Pre-prepare as many variables as possible to negotiate around. There is so much to negotiate around that doesn’t involve giving away money. This is the area that most people have the greatest difficulty with. And yet it is the second most important part of a negotiation. When I hear that a negotiation has gone well, and there is now only the price to sort out I know that the person is in trouble.
Never give them. And take your time in making them. Conceding too easily gives a clear signal to the other side that you are too eager. In the same way, conceding too much at one time signals to the other party that you have lots to give away. Many people will make a big concession in the hope that it gets the deal sewn up. All too often it gives the other party hope that there is a lot more to win yet.
Around 80% of all concessions are made in the last hour of a negotiation. In other words, when people sense they are close to the end of the negotiation they start to give away more in order to get the deal done. A smart negotiator knows this and ensures that it is only the other party that gives the concessions.
If you would like to know more about successful negotiating e-mail Ginny@precept.uk.com with your questions or ideas.
We also have a guide to avoiding the dirty tricks that negotiators play. Ask Ginny for that too.