Negotiation is actually an attempt to find a situation where both the negotiating parties can agree to each other’s terms and conditions. Negotiation is not just about money. This is something where you invest your time and energy to make sure that the person or the company you are dealing with is happy with your terms. As countless books and courses put it, a negotiation is successful only if it brings you in a ‘win-win’ situation. Some negotiators are able to do this easily as they have the ability to find creative solutions to problems at hand. Others will need to work through some fundamental steps in order to get the right deal for their business. Keeping that in mind, here are 10 negotiation tactics you should know about:
1. Listen well
The goal of listening well is to figure out what things are important to the person or business you are negotiating with. All the things you listen to and understand add to your knowledge base and allow you to make an offer that is more appealing to the party sitting in front of you.
2. Make consistent statements
It is important for you to remember things you have said during your conversations, so that you don’t change your mind at a later stage. Always ensure that you are comfortable with what you are offering. Repeating it can be fine. But, you can’t keep changing your mind.
3. Ask questions frequently.. Ask the Client
You must have realized by now that it is very useful to know about the business you are dealing with, beforehand. In order to know whether the company can be trusted for timely payments, you can start asking some financial questions, starting with easier and friendlier ones. Always write down the things you would like to know about the business before visiting their office or even calling them. As an example, in case you want to determine whether the company would be able to really pay for what you are selling, start by telling them a little about your business and ask them what their clients are like or how long they have been in business.
4. Never say yes to something instantly
Never say yes to something immediately without figuring out if you will be able to keep yourself profitable. Not agreeing to the first offer made by the buyer allows you to go away and rethink about the offer. The other reason why you must not agree to the initial offer is that your immediate agreement might make the buyer think that he could get the product or service from someone else at a cheaper price. Never give something away for nothing. To put it differently, don’t agree to a lower price just to close the deal quickly.
Always demand something in return. In the event something is agreeable to you, don’t forget to use the word ‘if’. ‘If I give you a 10 percent rebate on my product, what can you do for me?’ or ‘If I accept the price you are offering me, will you pay for the deliveries?’
5. Never offer the minimum amount you can sell the product for in your initial proposal
Always offer your highest so that you can come down a little bit. Expect the people negotiating with you to say ‘no’ to your first offer. Remember, even when the customer is tough over the money he will offer, you could still have the ability to negotiate on other parts of the offer that do not directly involve money. Having good terms for things other than money (e.g. delivery or payments) can help you save money too.
6. Work out an agreement
Initially, you might not have met the expectations you had with the deal. The challenge now is to work out the variables and find a situation where you can agree. Go through your variables and find out what you need to reduce or extend to keep your offer as it stands. Try and understand the perspective of the buyer and figure out the variables that are important to him. In the event you decide to reduce the price you were offering, make sure that you come down in smaller amounts. So, if you have decided to come down by $10, only offer to reduce $5 initially and then perhaps $7. This will also let the buyer know that he is near to your price ceiling.
7. Know who holds a more powerful position
Know who commands a better position in the deal. Is it you or the buyer? In order to better your position, being persuasive is very important. There must always be certain logic to support the arguments you are making. If they push you to a stage where there is ‘sell it or go’ like condition, you can still afford to offer less if you are able to justify
why you are a better company to work with.
8. Keep going and handle the objections meticulously
You must keep moving (or shuffling) along, until you reach a stage where you are satisfied with the conditions. Handling objections is seldom a pleasant experience, which is why it is necessary to understand the other side’s position and motivation to have the deal through. You must also help them understand your perspective so that they can do all they can to help you.
9. Offer something that is less important for you
When you get into a deadlock where no side is ready to compromise, it really is a chance to offer something you think is less important for you (as for example offering an extra 3 months of free maintenance or one day of training) in exchange for keeping your offer as it is. Try to speak the language of the buyer and help them understand your position.
10. Agree a deal
Getting a deal signed always feels great, especially when you have been working hard to find the right terms. Here are few things to consider at this stage of your negotiations: Don’t try to add or change anything at this time. There is nothing worse than someone adding something to the deal while shaking hands with you. Get everything in writing and don’t allow anybody to modify the terms you both have agreed upon, even to the slightest extent.
Some buyers will do anything to make you sign their deal. In case you have done your homework and have a clear understanding of the limits you cannot cross, don’t be pressurized to say yes to anything you don’t agree with. In case there is enough pressure on you to sign a deal you are not happy with, say clearly that you would like to meet them some other time with a better offer.