A system in place for negotiations, whether business or personal, can make the process more efficient and easier to navigate. A proactive plan can help entrepreneurs, employees, sales reps, managers, students, parents, and anyone entering contract discussions. Before engaging in any formal negotiation, there are three things you must do to be successful.
Determine Your Needs
Before you negotiate, know your end game. Ask yourself a few questions to get a clear understanding before entering talks with another party.
What do you hope to achieve?
What are you willing to give up to get it?
What is your bottom line?
Knowing these answers will help you remain focused during talks. It's easy to get distracted by the other person or what they want. Remain prepared and stick to your goals, no matter what.
Know Your Opponent's Position
Before negotiating, find out as much as you can about the person or business you're dealing with. Research gives both parties insight into what the other wants and needs. It also provides bargaining power to advocate for your position.
Have a Strategy
Many negotiation strategies are proven winners. One of the most powerful is having a BATNA. This acronym stands for "Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement." If you walk away from negotiations and your BATNA succeeds, you've reached a satisfying result for yourself and the other party.
You must be willing to walk away from negotiations. If you're not prepared to do that, you may lose out on the best outcome. It may seem like a defeat, but it's still a win for you because it improves the results from your BATNA.
Another tactic includes starting with a concession. This style is an effective way to gain some momentum from your opponent and prove your flexibility. They may be unwilling to make the first move, or they may take advantage of your willingness to be flexible.
Start With the Most Important Areas
Negotiations often start with the most challenging points. However, that strategy doesn't work for everyone. You can tackle these issues later once you've established an agreement on the most important areas to you.
You may be tempted to start with a big issue, such as price or a specific benefit, but it's often better to start with something less challenging. Agreement on this issue will build trust and help you establish a strong rapport with your counterpart.
Plan for Failure
Think about how to react should negotiations fail. Anticipate problems before they occur and design solutions to remedy the situation, whether it's a last-minute change or serious conflict. This may seem counterproductive to the purpose of negotiations, but it's essential to plan for the worst, so you have a contingency plan.
Take Time on the Contract's Presentation
If you want to achieve the desired outcome, your contract presentation must be welcoming and professional. For an easy-to-read document, convert JPG to PDF online to ensure everyone can access it.
Get What You Want in Negotiations
Negotiations are a vital part of success and growth in business, so you should go into every contract discussion with a plan to win.
Get more help with negotiation techniques by joining your local chamber of commerce.