Seven tips to be a better negotiator | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Seven tips to be a better negotiator

As an entrepreneur, you will definitely need negotiating skills at different stages in your journey – in closing a sale, getting better terms from your suppliers, convincing an investor or proving a point to an irate customer. Good negotiation is a skill that comes over time, with practice.

SupportBiz lists seven pointers for you to hone these skills, and become a better negotiator.

1.     Brush up on your knowledge.

It is a good idea to brush up on your knowledge in advance, before approaching a negotiation. Study the profile of the person you will be negotiating with thoroughly, the nature of his/her business, his/her products/services, and his/her strengths and weaknesses. The more knowledge about him/her that you have, the better equipped you will be to negotiate to your advantage.

You should also spend time studying about the common techniques of negotiation and typical reactions to them. This will go a long way towards enhancing your negotiating capabilities.

2.     Practice.

‘Practice makes a man perfect,’ they say. The art of negotiating is no exception to this. Practice negotiating whenever possible, under different types of situations, with different types of people. Do not shy away from it, unless absolutely necessary.

You will definitely learn a lot of negotiating skills through such practical experience.

3.     Don’t lie.

Lying is not good practice in undertaking a negotiation. You might win the negotiation in such circumstances, but you might end up losing your credibility, if discovered. Avoid such situations at all costs.

When you are trying to negotiate something to your advantage, tell the truth. Try to argue based on tried-and-tested facts and strengths that will work to your benefit. Do not resort to lying or telling tall tales.

4.     Don’t get personal or rude.

Do not get too personal when trying to negotiate something. Do not consider the other party as an adversary. Instead of attacking the other party, try to attack the issue you both are trying to sort out.

Similarly, it is not good practice to get rude during a negotiation. You do not need to lose your courtesy in order to prove a point – you can achieve the same through politeness, too.

5.     Listen thoroughly.

A negotiation cannot be won on the basis of who shouts the loudest or who speaks the most. When you enter a negotiation, pay attention to what the other party is saying. Do not keep stressing your viewpoint at all times, but be willing to listen thoroughly to the verbal and non-verbal cues that the other party is providing.

Once you know what the other party has in mind, you can work out how best to tackle the same. This will help you in negotiating better, to your advantage.

6.     Don’t be afraid.

It is natural to feel nervous and afraid to undertake a negotiation. However, the key to negotiate effectively is to give up on the nervousness.

Enter the negotiation with an open mind, and dare to present your viewpoints clearly.

7.     Learn when to give up.

Learn when it is time to give up in a negotiation. Do not keep stressing your viewpoint endlessly, only to lose a relationship in the end.

Sometimes, negotiations do seem to be going nowhere. Learn to gracefully exit such discussions, and see how best you can salvage the situation. Recollect your learnings from such situations.