9 Negotiating Techniques That Get You The Best Deal
Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties intended to reach a beneficial outcome. This beneficial outcome can be for all of the parties involved, or just for one or some of them.
Today, negotiation is a lost art as few modern Americans remain skilled at the practice. We see a price and expect to pay that amount, with the exception of negotiating when buying cars and homes. But even in those instances, you may end up paying more than you should, if you don’t know how to drive a hard bargain.
Negotiating isn’t about getting what you want OR giving in to what the other party wants. It’s not an “either/or situation.It’s about having both parties walk away satisfied. Here are negotiation techniques that have led to several multimillion-dollar deals. Best part, they will never fail.
1. Do your homework.
Never come to the table unprepared. Research your counterpart in advance so that you can identify exactly what you want and have the data to back-it-up. For example, when appealing for a new programming gig, research the industry and the company that you’re interviewing with so that you know the average salary. After that, you can begin negotiating on your ideal salary.
2. Share information.
We often approach negotiation being very guarded and wary of showing our cards. Yet, while we believe this is a smart approach, it has a negative impact on our outcomes and inhibits trust. People tend to be matchers and “follow the norm of reciprocity, responding in kind to how we treat them.” If we want to be trusted, we must first offer it.
Studies have shown that revealing some information, even when it’s unrelated to the negotiation, increases the outcome. You don’t have to put all of your cards on the table at the outset. Simply putting something of yourself out there – your hobbies, personal concerns, or hopes – can set a positive tone that’s conducive to gaining agreement.
3. Be prepared to give something up.
You’re not going to get everything that you want. Make sure that you identify the areas where you’re willing to be flexible and where you’re not. For example, if dealing with a vendor, you may be willing to pay them a higher rate for their goods because they offer the best payment terms for your business.
4.Rank order your priorities.
Typically when we negotiate, we know what our key issues are, and we sequence them.You’re not going to get everything that you want. Make sure that you identify the areas where you’re willing to be flexible and where you’re not.The researches show that you are able to achieve better outcomes by ranking and leaving all the issues on the table and being transparent about it. That way both parties can compare their rankings and determine what the full set of options really are.
5.Make the first offer.
When you make the first move you’re giving yourself home field advantage.People who make first offers get better terms that are closer to their target price. The reason is the psychological principle of anchoring. Whatever the first number is on the table, both parties begin to work around it. It sets the stage.
6.Don’t counter too low.
If you aren’t able to make the first offer, then you need to also protect yourself against the anchoring effect. Caution: most people go too low, too quickly. Your counter should be based on the same information you would have used if you’d made the first offer.You may also want to consider re-anchoring
. Let the other person know that their offer is way off, and go back in with a new reset. It also may be helpful to call out what you’re observing to redirect the conversation.
7. Use Silence and Time as a Tactic
Never respond too quickly to an offer. Pausing or even suspending negotiations can convey that you’re not desperate to close the deal and that you have other options. Silence can force a surprising amount of pressure on the other party as well.
8. Use your emotional intelligence.
Having emotional intelligence allows you to manage your emotions, show empathy, and prevent you from getting distracted. It also helps you solve problems and be a more likable person.
The only way to become an expert negotiator is to practice a lot. In the United States, the closest things we have to traditional markets are flea markets and garage sales. Spending a day or two bickering over t-shirts or used furniture will improve your negotiating skills and give you the confidence that will be valuable when you purchase a car or a house. It’s also a great idea to practice in foreign countries, where bargaining is much more widely accepted and even expected.