How to negotiate like a pro
Negotiating is a critical part of business, and it’s important to know how to approach it effectively to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Being able to negotiate successfully can make the all difference between a good deal and a bad deal – and therefore whether it’s worth entering into. Here are some top tips on how to approach negotiations.
1. Research: Before you enter a negotiation, it’s important to do your homework. Research the company and their history, their interests and their priorities. This will give you a better understanding of the other side, and what they may be looking for.
2. Prepare: Once you understand the other side’s interests, it’s time to prepare your own argument. Think about what you want to get out of the negotiation, and how you can best make your case. Think about what the other side is likely to come back with and prepare a back-up plan.
3. Listen: Negotiations are a dialogue, not a monologue. Listen carefully to what the other side has to say, and take their interests and concerns into account to help you to come up with a mutually beneficial solution. The best outcomes of negotiations leave both sides feeling like they have ‘won’.
4. Be creative: Negotiations rarely go exactly as planned, and it’s important to be flexible and willing to make compromises. Be prepared to adjust your offer depending on the other side’s response, and be open to suggestions. The final agreement may not be one you had initially considered!
5. Be prepared to walk away: Entering into a deal that is barely profitable doesn’t make good business sense – unless there is a long-term strategy at play. You therefore need to be prepared to walk away from the deal if the numbers don’t stack up. There is also more to business than profit; most business deals are underpinned by relationships so if you don’t trust the other side or don’t feel you will be able to work with them, this could also be a good reason to ultimately refuse to enter into an agreement with them.