Effective negotiation

Every time you want or need something from others to achieve your aims, you engage in negotiating.

Read through the following tips to improve your negotiation skills:

Identify the outcome you want before you start your negotiation

It is critical to understand what you want before you start a negotiation. This will help you to know when to ask for more and when to stop. Knowing your bottom line prevents you from taking advantage of the other person in the negotiation process . And it also prevents you from agreeing to terms that are unacceptable to you.

Know your audience

This is an important principle in marketing and also in negotiating. Make sure you do your homework. Find out as much as possible about the person with whom you wish to negotiate. Find out about other deals he/she has made. Understand how he/she works with others and prepare yourself accordingly.

Understand your worth

Often people do not have an understanding of what they really bring to the table. Make sure your accomplishments are ingrained in your head. But also make sure that they are accurate and consistent.

Listen, listen, and listen

Most of the time we have so much to say that we forget to listen. But the best negotiators are detectives. They ask probing questions and then stop talking. Many conflicts can be resolved easily if we learn how to listen. You can become an effective listener by allowing the other person do most of the talking. Follow the 80/20 Rule: listen 80 percent of the time and talk only 20 percent of the time.

Show your optimism

Aim high and expect the best outcome. Successful negotiators are optimists. If you expect more, you'll get more. A proven strategy for achieving higher results is opening with an extreme position. Sellers should ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers should offer less than they are prepared to pay. People who aim higher do better. Your optimism will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Don't make threats and don't get emotionally involved

Do not become too emotionally attached to winning. Most deals are only possible if both parties feel that they're getting something out of it. If the person across the table feels attacked, or doesn't like you, they probably won't back down. Most people hate bullies, and will be more willing to walk away from a transaction if it involves one. Be calm, patient, and friendly, even if the other person starts losing their cool. Make sure you leave any pride or ego at the door. You're much more likely to do well that way.

The ability to negotiate successfully can make the difference between success and failure. It is a skill important to master. Keep these tips in mind each time you step into negotiations.