They say negotiation is an art. Does this also mean that successful entrepreneurs and business men are all artists? If so, how can you describe their talent? Maybe the key to unravel the secrets of their skill is to see behind the facts – it’s not the result but the whole process that should be taken into consideration. What is it that these men and women have that makes them successful? Is the art of negotiation a native talent or a skill that you can also acquire, just like any other skill?
What makes a “win – win” negotiation?
A “win – win” solution is not only an expression, but a concept. It’s about the ability to think at a given situation from two different perspectives, and make decisions that put together can successfully balance the wins and losses of both parties. It means settling for a deal that is situated half way between your interests and your partner’s interests. But how can you correctly approximate the distance at which you are allowed to go, before interfering with the interests of your partner?
The most talented negotiators or “the artists” do not have to constantly remind themselves the “terms and conditions” of a business discussion, because they’re able to follow them intuitively. In fact, their intuition is only the result of acknowledging a few simple things much faster than other people.
Basic Ideas to Consider
- Purpose of negotiation – although it may seem obvious, it’s very important when negotiating to permanently remind yourself of your purpose. Keep your feet on the ground in a conversation, and focus your attention on the main issue of the discussion; in fewer words, as long as you focus on the destination, the road will be shorter. Having a clear target in mind will also make you sound professional and straightforward, without putting any effort into it.
- Don’t (ever) underestimate your partner – if your strategies are of a Machiavellian nature, think again. Your wish to outshine your competition might be their wish too. Never assume that your counterpart is not prepared enough or that he’s not smart enough because those assumptions can turn against you.
- Respect – you should never consider your needs as being more important than your partner’s. It is a proven fact that respect is something you earn while giving, having the power to create an implicit set of rules for “the game” of negotiation. In other words, if your partner knows that you’re playing your cards right, things will go by the book and no sneaky negotiation techniques will be used to influence either party.
These 3 major ideas are the result of summing up a whole range of factors and conditions that can make up a perfect negotiation, beneficial for both parties. So remember – you are the one who can raise the standards of a discussion, turning it into a successful “win – win” business negotiation.
Getting to know your opponent
Always have in mind that the people you’re dealing on a daily basis are lot more important than drafting papers all day long. Prior to entering a negotiation and thinking of a long-term business relationship, it’s paramount to meet with your opponent in person. In critical situations lawyers won’t be able to protect you from crooks. People are mean and whether we like it or not, business people are the worst. Check references before signing anything and never trust their word.
As a business individual, you’ll come across all kinds of negotiators. Some will want bargain for a deal and build a long-term relationship with your company; others will just want to get things over with and go home. Price is often a deal-breaker however you should never assume that everything’s about the money because it’s not.
Success is all about building and delivering great value every single day. Money is an obsession that makes people evil, so why should you be like them when you can rip great benefits from win-win solutions? Building a profitable company based on strong morals is a lot more important than concentrating on making millions. While revenue is a priority in business, it will hinder creativity, and creativity is paramount in any type of business.
This is a guest post from William Taylor. He is a business writer and has contributed many articles at many blogs. He likes to share his knowledge about business and negotiations through his articles. He also writes for a site http://www.thegappartnership.com.hk which provides workshops in negotiation in about 50 countries.