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How to Negotiate Successfully

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When negotiating you should:

Be Trustworthy

Trust within a negotiation is essential, as without it you get nowhere. Your approach to any negotiation will be mirrored by your opposition and sometimes it helps for you to go first. So, if you want them to be trustworthy, open and honest, you must be trustworthy, open and honest. And, if you want them to help you to achieve a win, you must help them to achieve a win.

Be Strong

Being strong isn’t always about size and brute force. The projection of strength, whether it be personal or as a business, will help with trust in any negotiation and ultimately will deliver a win-win outcome. Always have a good Plan B, as this allows you greater leverage when the opposition know you have other options. Bring in a strong ally to help. They may be able to influence the opposition.

Be Friendly

When negotiating, building relationships is essential. When opening negotiations, making it more personal will aid in far better outcomes. Meet face-to-face as emails, tweets or SMS can easily be misinterpreted. Find things in common and compliment the opposition so they think more highly of you. And, importantly, try to do them a favour, as they will then feel they need to repay by doing you a favour in return and in their mind, they will position you as a friend.

Be Smart

While showing trust in any negotiation is essential, this should not result in you being taken advantage of, therefore be smart. Have a verification process in place and ensure agreements are put in writing. Find future opportunities to work together during the negotiation. This reminds the opposition that screwing you down in this negotiation may not be in their overall long-term interest.

Go Public

Don’t be afraid to share the outcome of the negotiations publicly. This ensures the opposition is more likely to want a win-win outcome as their reputation will be put at risk if they renege on what’s been agreed.

Simon Horton of Negotiation Mastery was the guest speaker at a Risky Business Breakfast hosted by Pound Gates Chartered Insurance Brokers. His book ‘The Leader’s Guide to Negotiation How to use Soft Skills to Get Hard Results’ is available from Amazon from £12.35

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