Last Updated on April 28, 2020 by Dave Schoenbeck
As a living, breathing humans, we negotiate things on a constant basis. From convincing the kids to go to bed at 8 pm to talking your spouse into washing the dishes, there are plenty of small negotiations that happen in every household, every day.
However, as a small business owner, you likely have to negotiate much bigger issues. If you are heading into an important negotiation, you’ll want to be fully prepared. The 4 tips below will teach you how to win a negotiation.
How to Win a Negotiation – Step 1: Start with a smart offer.
First and foremost, in order to win a negotiation, it’s important to go prepared with numbers in your head. These should include the minimum you will take or the maximum you are willing to pay for a particular item or service. That said, these numbers should never be presented to your counterpart right off the bat.
Instead, shoot for more than you wish to receive or less than you want to pay. Additionally, you should always attempt to be the first to make an offer.
In many instances, it is helpful to offer a range in place of a hard-and-fast number. This will make you appear to be a more reasonable person. For example, instead of offering $2,000 for an item or service, try offering $1,500–$2,000. On the other hand, if you’re selling, you could ask for $2,000–$2,500 instead of $2,000.
How to Win a Negotiation – Step 2: Give yourself time to think.
It’s important that you have some ability to slow down a negotiation to whatever pace you need for making well-thought-out decisions. Slow-paced conversations are also best for constructing the most persuasive sentences – something that is crucial for winning a negotiation.
If a conversation is moving too quickly, try slowing it down by repeating the last few words of your counterpart’s sentences or repeating their questions before answering them. This will give you a few extra seconds to gather your thoughts.
Another good trick for bringing negotiations to a comfortable pace is to take to the Internet. By negotiating over email, you give yourself plenty of time to research options and construct strong arguments. Additionally, you will have a written record of the conversation, which may prove invaluable down the line.
How to Win a Negotiation – Step 3: Make use of emotions.
Emotions play a huge role in our decision-making processes. There are a great many ways to use emotions to win a negotiation:
● Make personal small talk. This helps people feel comfortable around you. It also shows them that you are a person, not a company, and should be treated as such.
● Reveal unfortunate circumstances. If you are the less powerful person in a negotiation, it might help to play into your counterpart’s emotions be revealing hardships such as crippling student loans.
● Use facial expressions. Showing that you are happy by smiling – or that you’re dissatisfied with a proposition by frowning – will help your counterpart see that you are fully invested in the negotiation.
How to Win a Negotiation – Step 4: Focus less on winning.
While winning a negotiation does feel good, it’s possible to have an even better outcome. This occurs when a solution can be reached that benefits both parties.
One key to finding that ideal win-win solution is to truly listen. Instead of shooting down every argument your counterpart offers, ask them to explain further. Many times, this can help you see where they are coming from and help you come to an agreement that makes sense for both parties.
By using the tips above and going into a negotiation prepared, you are much more likely to come out ahead.
To learn more about how to win a negotiation, schedule a complimentary one-hour coaching session with me… Coach Dave. Please fill out the contact form to get started.