Are you a civilized negotiator? Or do you have more of a caveman style that involves brute force? Is it possible that a mediator may have been useful at times? Effective negotiating is an art form and in the world of small business, you must learn to perfect it.
If you think about it, chances are that you’re negotiating your way through something in one form or another everyday to reach an agreement – even if you only end up agreeing to disagree. From a new business deal to outsourcing to social media debates the whole way down to time management. And we all know that proper etiquette is key to negotiating success.
Having said that, we’d love to hear your tips for “civilized” negotiating. Therefore, we’d decided to make that the topic for this months BizSugar Blog contest.
This article over at Business On Main provides 4 tips for civilized negotiating. We’re looking for off-the-beaten-track tips. Your tip can’t be the same as the four tips referenced article, so visit the link and make sure yours is different. Then, come back here and give us yours.
Leave us your negotiating tip (and your Twitter username) by the end of day on December 1, 2011, in the comments section below and our team of moderators will pick the best tip.
The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Amazon just in time for the Holidays!
The owner of this site has an advertising relationship with Business on Main.
14 thoughts on “Negotiating Tips Contest: $100 Amazon Gift Certificate”
on Twitter: DJButtons
My secret tip for business owners who need help negotiating: don’t be afraid to delegate! You may find that there are others within your organization who understand your company’s needs very well and can handle certain negotiations better than you could handle them yourself. Maybe you don’t need to negotiate with every supplier–you could ask that intelligent administrative assistant, who already deals with the supplier on a regular basis anyway, to negotiate on your behalf. That regular relationship between the supplier and your assistant may result in a better deal for your company, too!
It may take a small leap of trust, but investing that trust in your employees (who you hired, after all, so you must have some level of trust in them) can pay off both by reducing the time you spend negotiating, and by boosting morale and loyalty in those you choose to trust with these tasks.
@bizsugar “Got negotiating skills? Leave us a negotiating tip and win $100 Amazon gift certificate! […]” < For $200 I'll consider it.. 😉
Never, ever raise your voice while negotiating. If anything lower it. This can be highly effective when tempers rise and along with them the level and pitch of voices. By speaking quietly, not only do you lower the temperature in the room, people will eventually stop to listen.
Here’s my tip:
Put the issue into terms that both parties understand. Talk about mutual self-interest. Show how compromise is preferable to continued conflict. In “Getting to Yes” (one of the best business books I’ve ever read), the authors talk about interest-based negotiating. That is, take the person out of the equation. Don’t belittle your counterpart; just show how you may be able to both achieve your goals.
This is no guarantee; some conflict is unavoidable. Just focus on long-term interests and you’ll probably be better off.
Make a personal connection with the person you’re negotiating with: do you both enjoy running, have kids the same age, or support the same sports teams? Find a common thread to develop a friendlier relationship, and it makes the negotiation process more of a win-win. It’s easy to be tough on someone you don’t know well, but far more difficult to tighten the screws on someone you’ve shared something with.
Be prepared by understanding exactly what is most important to you and what is most important to the other party. Take the time to prepare and review possible alternatives so that you aren’t caught by surprise.
Negotiation isn’t — or shouldn’t be — open warfare where one side has to win big and the other side needs to walk away beaten down. Enter the process with a win-win attitude. Know what you need to walk away with and get as close to that goal as possible while allowing your counterpart to walk away feeling they ‘won’ too.
Always stay in rapport with the other party – if rapport is broken, chunk up the negotiation to find a common ground again, move slightly sideways and chunk down again to reach agreement. Repeat this until a win-win agreement is achieved (classic NLP).
It takes a lot of concentration, but avoids confrontation, lose-win scenarios, and ensures you are in a place of trust (something other business people will value).
Avoid phrases like “I understand…” and “…yes, BUT” – replace with “Yes, AND…)
ALWAYS affirm the other and demonstrate how the deal is a win-win. If you are unable to meet requests, offer a solution in an affirmative manner: I understand your need, I wish I could do that, unfortunately I am unable HOWEVER WHAT I CAN DO IS xxxxx”
I believe being authentic and straight up with the.other party us paramount to a successful outcome. My intentiin fir all negotiations is a win-win. Building rapport with the other party also.
Record (video/audio) each sides goals and issues blocking a way of to getting to solving them.
Drill down to the core values and beliefs behind each side’s issues. Show both sides where they have common ground and work on those first.
What I have found is when there are representatives “intepreting” for many the core message gets lost in translation and often causes more rifts rather than solving the issues. Being able to see/hear what was originally said makes a HUGE difference to results.
I completely agree with the positive nature of these comments. The book “getting to yes” and “seven habits of highly effective people” are my two favorite books that address negotiation skills. The best tips I can offer … listen to each other, create options for mutal gain, separate the people from the problem and don’t be afraid to agree to disagree. Thanks!
We always made it clear to vendors that jobs are up for bid. We would create the RFQ (request for quotation) along with the deadline for submissions. Although some of the discussions concerning the work would be informal and more personal – at the end of the day, it’s about business and this process helps keep everyone on their toes (and their pencils sharpened).