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Negotiate is a Dirty Word

July 17, 2019

To negotiate means to “attempt to come to an agreement on something through discussion and compromise” (Encarta Dictionary). It is something we do everyday in business and in our personal lives, yet we all are not 100% proficient. And for many the word negotiate conjures up negative reactions…it becomes a dirty word.

Because we are not all 100% proficient in negotiating, many people walk away from opportunities because they can’t come to agreement, or they leave money on the table by paying more than they wanted, or their discussions get heated or stalled. Why don’t we excel in something we do every day?

Negotiating involves discussing our “needs” (which are very personal), sharing our “wants” (which are very important) and communicating with someone else (who has different wants and needs and may have a different style), so many factors can get in the way of reaching that critical agreement.

To help reduce these potential barriers, consider these three best practices of top negotiators.

Keep Communicating

Stay focused on the issues that are keeping you from agreement. Create a give and take atmosphere so both parties share their wants and needs.Work to establish common ground and whenever possible, reiterate what both parties agree on to make it easier to work towards a solution.

Be Patient

Do not give up anything until you have the full picture and have all the information available. Try to get both parties wants and needs on the table before agreeing to a new solution.

Be Prepared

Before negotiating, develop your opening position, your bargaining strategy and your bottom line. This preparation can be done when the negotiation is planned and unplanned. If it is unplanned, (when a customer calls you out of the blue and demands a discount) take a moment to explore the customer’s issues. Then develop your first offer, some ideas for resolving the issue if the customer doesn’t accept the first offer, and the bottom line in terms of what you can do to find resolution.

If you remember these three tips of top negotiators, you will feel more confident when negotiating and be able to achieve more “Win-Win” outcomes in your personal and business lives. And negotiating won’t be a “dirty” word.

For information about our customized training solutions for negotiation skills, click here