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When you negotiate, do you use a system? Do you haphazardly jump into a negotiation without any planning or thought for what you might do if you hit roadblocks? In order to negotiate successfully, good negotiators prepare before a negotiation.
The information that follows outlines seven steps you can use to negotiate successfully.
1. Gather Background Information:
- When gathering background information, include the style, values, ethnicity, culture, demographics (younger negotiators on/using twitter, facebook, Linkedin, and their way of communicating, versus those that are slower to use these mediums) and other information that’s pertinent to that particular negotiation session.
2. Assess your arsenal of negotiation tactics and strategies:
- The more you’re aware of how to use the appropriate tactic with the appropriate strategy, applied at the appropriate time, the more options you’ll have and be able to execute during the negotiation.
3. Create Your Negotiation Plan:
- Consider the overall strategy you’ll use for the negotiation. Break strategies into tactics. Assess possible strategies the other negotiator might employ. Take into consideration the use of red herrings (Note: Red herrings are items that have little to no value to you that you position as having value, but items that possess real value to the other negotiator). Also consider how you might apply pressure to points (leverage) throughout the negotiation.
4. Engage in the Negotiation Process:
- Observe body language and mannerisms. This can be done in person, via the phone, and in writing (e-mail, etc.). Note the style in which the other person negotiates (i.e. friendly (let’s get along), reserved (I’m not quite sure how this is going to go and I’m apprehensive), hostile (I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours – the only way for me to win is for you to lose – I’m in the driver’s seat; it’s my way or the highway).
5. Closing the Negotiation:
- Be on high alert for the conclusion of what you think is an agreement, serving as the next phase of the negotiation; in some cultures, this is a common practice. If you’re unsure of the other negotiators sincerity, put deliverables into phases of the negotiation.
6. Conduct a Postmortem:
- Dissect the negotiation. Assess what went right – What could have been improved upon – What you learned from that negotiator about negotiation styles – What lessons should be taken forth into other negotiations – What went wrong – Why did it go wrong – What could you have done differently – What prevented you from using a better tactic/strategy to allow you to gain control of the negotiation).
7. Create Negotiation Archive:
- Create an archive of your negotiations and store them in a repository. Set up keywords to cross-reference sections, tactics, and strategies in your negotiation write-ups, to be used for the extraction of quick ideas and serve as a resource, for future negotiations.
Whether you’re a negotiation neophyte or a seasoned professional, by using the platform of the “Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully” as your negotiation foundation, you’ll be considerably ahead of the other negotiator … and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.
The Negotiation Tips Are
- When negotiating, seek advantages that allow you to exploit your strength, but don’t disparage the other negotiator in your enthusiasm to obtain victory.
- When a negotiation outcome is less than expected, learn from the experience. Commit to getting better. Increase your knowledge of how to use the right tactic, with the right strategy(s), aligned with the right situation.
- Make sure you observe and control your biases when assessing the person with whom you’ll be negotiating.