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Ask questions to learn what’s important to the other party, advises Chris Voss, who served as the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI and has taught business negotiations at Harvard University, among others. Chris Voss is the author “Never Split the Difference”: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It. When I heard him speak, he stressed the need to listen to the other party and have empathy. The other party may be primarily looking to validate and be heard.
2. Negotiate beyond the price
While many people associate negotiating with the sale or negotiation of a salary, it is important to remember that the parties may not be primarily concerned about money. It’s common to hear the famous phrase “You name your price, I’ll set the conditions” when negotiating a purchase. This statement makes a good point that there is more to a sale than the final sales price. The client was a property developer who said they could reach that price with a longer time frame. Both parties agreed to a deal where the buyer would take longer to complete the transaction, allowing them to finance and approve the project. It was a win for both parties. Find Common Ground When Negotiating
At first glance, some deals may seem black and white, but negotiations can often bring other details to the surface. After several conversations, both parties may find that they share similar goals and decide to work together. Finding common ground between different sellers and buyers such as big corporations and mom-and pop retailers requires creativity, time and effort. These conversations are what I enjoy most about my job. The outcome is usually positive once both parties have found ways to benefit.
4. Take a long-term view
The answer to a question rarely comes during the first conversation. It can take months or even years to develop a successful plan. According to the Harvard Business School Online Business Insights blog, Apple and LG Display negotiated for more than a year before forming a partnership. Apple wanted to find a reliable supplier of organic light-emitting displays (OLEDs), while LG Display was looking to expand their business. The two companies reached an agreement after a year-long discussion over pricing, production capacity and quality control. Counterpoint Research reports that when the iPhone X, with its LG OLED display, was released, it became the fastest-selling smartphone on the planet. Opt for the High Road
Chris voss suggests using a DJ voice, late at night, to negotiate. This can create a calm, effective atmosphere. If tempers flare at the negotiating table, it can lead to a long-term hostile environment. Even if it seems that the other party is following a different set of rules, you can still achieve a better outcome by taking the high road. This will also help to maintain your integrity. Take Time to Anchor the Negotiation
Before having a discussion with the other party, think about where you want to ultimately land. Prepare and research properly so that you can support your arguments. This can help you navigate the conversation and lay out the way to move toward what you’re hoping to accomplish.
Developing negotiating skills typically involves time and practice. You can further develop these skills by reaching out to a mentoring or taking additional coursework. Once these traits are refined, you can move forward with your career, business or sales.