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Business Negotiation Tips: Craft Your Success

BusinessDictionary.com defies negotiation as “bargaining (give and take) process between two or more parties (each with its own aims, needs, and viewpoints) seeking to discover a common ground and reach an agreement to settle a matter of mutual concern or resolve a conflict.” Effective negotiation techniques together with important business skills can be a rewarding combination that can help you attain desired outcome.

1.      Timing: Time is critically important to negotiation process, and negotiators can reach a mutually agreed conclusion before the deadline. Time can be used to create pressure on negotiators to reach an agreement and set the tempo of events. Some timing strategies include patience, surprise, and deadline. a) Patience - Prolonging the negotiation. It is one of the top negotiation tips or tricks employed by negotiating parties to discover more information about the other so as to have a better deal. b) Deadline – The idea is not to reach quick settlements, because there is a risk of one party getting an upper hand over the other in hasty deals. However, by setting a deadline or timeline for the negotiation will force both sides to reach a conclusion, fearing the possibility of loss. c) Surprise – prepare yourself for the negotiations by gathering important information about the other party and surprise them by showing your readiness for negotiation.

2.       Disclosure: Adopt a cooperative mind-set and show the other party that your goal is to reach a mutually agreed solution. In doing so, you should be willing to provide information to increase your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of the other side. This may also help in building rapport with them. You may choose to show your willingness to answer questions, allow controlled access to information, and/or provide complete freedom to review books. If you disclose information, it will amount to triggering a need for the other side to be honest as well.

3.       Commitment: No negotiation can reach a successful conclusion until you stay committed to your argument. Without commitment, your position is weakened. Phrase the commitment in a way that it sounds firm while leaving room for retreat. If you cannot reach an agreement on an issue, the best approach may be to break it down and then deal with its components. However, when there is no point of return and you have to stay committed to your decision, the negotiation enters a deadlock, which is a good tool to show conviction. This is one of the best negotiation tips.

4.       No disclaimers: You do not want your counterpart to use the negotiating table as a show of power and behave more aggressively. So you should never try to use soft disclaimers or anything that exposes your weaker side while making the other side look more powerful. You would walk away with a deal you had not dreamed of. Convey power, dominance, and confidence and receive better deals.

5.       Agenda: Prepare an agenda to ensure issues are dealt with and the negotiation process flows smoothly. An opponent's agenda gives you an idea of their values and expectations. Focus on a range of issues when preparing an agenda.

6.       Concession & compromiseConcession is a tactic to determine what the other side wants and can’t do without. You will also be able to find what they are willing o let go off and what they cannot bargain. Set goals higher than what you expect in order to get a favorable outcome.

7.       Mediator: Using a mediator is a tactical move employed by some negotiators to get responses to questions refused or ignored during the negotiation process. However, caution is urged when sharing confidential information with a mediator.

8.       Redirecting topic: It may become crucial to introduce a new important topic if things go out of hand and talks seem to have reached a deadlock. Doing so will build momentum and trust, which are crucial to resolve other pressing issues at the negotiating table.

9.       Changing teamsSometimes conflict of personalities could result in an impasse. In such situations, it may be beneficial to change the players in order for the dialogue to keep moving successfully. The change can give a new direction to the talks and end the impasse.

10.   Leaving negotiations: When your team has exhausted all reasonable avenues, with no favorable outcome, you may choose to leave the negotiations. However, leaving a negotiation is a drastic extreme step and may be used rarely. Before taking such an extreme step, make sure you understand the culture & traditions of the other side, as this move signals an end to talks in many cultures.  

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