Negotiation is the process of bargaining that precedes an agreement. Successful negotiation generally results in a contract between the parties. Best type of negotiation is “win-win” which means both parties will be satisfied with the result.
“Win-Win” negotiation is about alliance not conflict. Successful negotiation results in long lasting and fruitful professional relationships between parties, reduced tension and stress associated with aggressive bargaining methods and leads to more productive and creative businesses.
In this article we explore five steps to a more successful negotiation for all parties involved:
1. Be Prepared
Make sure you are absolutely clear on what outcome you want to achieve before entering a negotiation. Plan your questions, strategies, alternative offers and suggestions based on how the other party may react. Study and research other party’s long term goals, their recent activities and businesses and their past negotiation history and techniques. Ensure you know what their requirements or offers are before starting.
2. Listen Effectively
The main purpose of effective listening is to understand the other person. By listening and showing genuine interests in other party’s offers, suggestions or ideas, you can create a positive and productive environment for empathic communication which is more likely to results in success.
3. Give Credit
Successful negotiators don’t want the glory of winning a contract all for themselves. They often throw ideas to the table and watch and encourage their team members or even opposite party to expand on the suggestions and come up with a winning result. A competent negotiator appreciates and praises people involved for their contribution even if they had came up with the original idea themselves.
Be prepared to be flexible and to change your position and requirements base on how negotiation is progressing. You should have alternative offers or requirements in order to be able to deal with any unexpected proposition or ideas from opposite party. Remember this is a “win-win” negotiation not “I-want-to-win-all” negotiation. The results should bring success for both parties.
5. Recapitulate the Results
At the end of the session, list all the points covered in the meeting. Make sure everyone is aware of the final agreement. Be prepared to answer questions about the results and offer post-meeting help and support.