The Art of Negotiation

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THE ART OF NEGOTIATION
By Ralph Masengill Jr., author of “Conquer Change and Win”

 

Ralph Masengill Jr. shares tips on successful negotiation, as covered in his latest book, “Conquer Change & Win: An Easy-to-Read Fun Book on the Serious Subject of Change,” on Big Blend Radio.

We all negotiate all the time. Deciding which movie to see or what restaurant to choose for dinner can be forms of negotiation. If you have children in your home, you probably negotiate with them several times a day. We should be familiar with negotiating. In fact, it seems as if it should be second nature. It is not. Most of us do not know the ins and outs of how to negotiate correctly. You and I will generally fear or dislike those things we do not understand. Especially for important negotiations, be sure you have the knowledge and experience to accomplish the job and win—or get an expert to do it for you. Inexperience in a negotiation can be embarrassing and potentially cause a disaster for you, your business, or others.

 

How can we negotiate and win? As covered in-depth in my book “Conquer Change and Win,” here are thirty important tips for negotiating to win:
1.  Know the other side. Two-thirds of the people you will meet are poor negotiators.

2. Be prepared. Like a good student, always do your homework.

3. Know exactly what you want, what you will and will not negotiate, and why. You need to know the same for the other side.

4. Meet on neutral ground. The meeting place should be somewhere that all parties feel comfortable.

5. Have a positive attitude. Be friendly, and sell yourself first.

6. Ask for more than you will be happy with. Give yourself some wiggle room.

7. Pinpoint what you want. Be simple and direct. Be sure to speak about everything you want and when you want it.

8. Establish trust. There must be trust on both sides, or all could be lost before you start.

9. Ask for what you want. The best way to get what you want is to ask for it. You might be surprised at the answer.

10. Set very clear time-and-date deadlines in your demands. Don’t accept unreasonable deadlines from the other side.

11. Listen. Listening is 80 percent of all good communication.

12. Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.

13. Speak in a language the other side will understand. Speak with confidence and in a conversational tone.

14. Respond; do not react. It is important that the other side never see you sweat.

15. See the negotiation as a learning experience.

16. Use concessions as a tool.

17. Use likability and fear together.

18. Use the “red herring” tool. Put something in your list of demands that you can easily live without.

19. Acknowledge that emotions and feelings count by showing both.

20. Use urgency as a tool.

21. Set upper and lower limits for yourself.

22. Avoid setting false expectations.

23. Realize that patience is a virtue.

24. Do not give the impression that you are ready for settlement unless you are ready for settlement.

25. Understand how the end of the negotiation will affect all parties.

26. Make it a team effort. It is important to let the other side see you as someone who is working with a team to accomplish a goal.

27. Speak only with decision-makers.

28. Reiterate the agreement. When you have reached an agreement, make it crystal clear what you have agreed to do.

29. Take a calculated risk. All negotiations are calculated risks.

30. Speak first. According to a study by the Harvard Business School, you should always attempt to go first.

One other important point: you never know whom you will be negotiating with in the future. Try hard not to burn any bridges.


You cannot get along without negotiation—not in the business world or in your personal life. The more you understand this art, the more you will like it—or at least you will tolerate it better. A great change agent must have excellent negotiating skills.


Ralph Masengill Jr. is a best-selling author and award-winning advisor, coach, marketing expert, business consultant and public relations strategist. His latest, and ‘must-read’ book is “Conquer Change and Win: An Easy-to-Read Fun Book on the Serious Subject of Change.” www.ConquerChangeandWin.com

 

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About the Author:

Ralph Masengill Jr. is a best-selling author and award-winning advisor, coach, marketing expert, business consultant and public relations strategist. His latest, and ‘must-read’ book is “Conquer Change and Win: An Easy-to-Read Fun Book on the Serious Subject of Change.”

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