12 Tips For More Successful Negotiations

Feb 17 22:00 2002 Tony L. Callahan Print This Article

Whether you are working on a joint business venture, a new job,the price of an auto or your child's new curfew, ... isa key success skill. So how can you improve your ... Here a

Whether you are working on a joint business venture,Guest Posting a new job,
the price of an auto or your child's new curfew, negotiation is
a key success skill. So how can you improve your negotiation
skills? Here are a dozen techniques I try to practice in every

1. Be Prepared
This is not just the motto of the Boy Scouts. Preparation is
the single most important element in successful negotiations.
In negotiations, information is power. The more relevant
information you have, the better your position is. Preparation
for your negotiations can not be overdone. Allow yourself
adequate time to prepare prior entering any negotiation.

2. Understand The Needs Of Your "Adversary"
Your "adversary" in this context is the other party in the
negotiation. Your relationship with this party may not normally
be described as adversarial, for the purposes of this discussion
we will view the negotiation as an adversarial relationship.

Put yourself in your adversary's shoes. What would they like to
gain from the negotiation? Write down as many possible goals as
you can think of. Prioritize your list in the order that you
believe your adversary would. Identify the items you are
willing to negotiate and those items which are nonnegotiable.

3. Know What Your Needs Are
What do you need out of the negotiations? More money? More
flexibility? Better opportunities? Access to broader markets?
Make a list of those things you would like to receive as a
result of the negotiations. Refine and prioritize your list
before starting the negotiation. Identify the items you are
willing to negotiate and those items which are nonnegotiable.
This list and the one created above will allow you to know what
your true "bottom line" is.

4. Most Negotiations Involve On Going Relationships
With the exception of large purchases, most negotiations involve
parties involved in a long term relationship. Whether the
relationship is family, friends or business associates, it will
be necessary to continue to deal with your "adversary" outside
the context of the negotiation. Always be sensitive to the
potential impact of your negotiations on these relationships.

5. Every Negotiation Is Different
Negotiating with a loved one is different than buying an
automobile. Buying an automobile is different from negotiating
with a new employer. They key difference is the relationship
you wish to have with your adversary once the negotiations are
complete. When negotiating with a loved one, you may be willing
to make more concessions in the interest of harmony. When
buying an automobile harmony may be less important than paying a
fair price. Keep these intangibles in mind when creating and
prioritizing your lists.

6. Understand The Situational Dynamics
In order to negotiate successfully, you must understand the
dynamics of the situation. Identify your role and the role of
your adversary. Know what are the "power positions" of each
role. The dynamics of negotiating in a parent/child
relationship are significantly different than the dynamics of
and employer/employee negotiation. Be certain your desires are
appropriate and achievable in terms of the situation.

7. Never Lie
Very few negotiations are a single contact event. With the
possible exception of making large purchases, most parties
involved in a negotiation have continued contact after the
negotiations are completed. When you are caught in a lie, and
it is inevitable that you will be, your future credibility will
be lost.

It is possible to prepare to handle those areas where the need
to lie may be felt. Examine the areas where your case is weak.
Work to strengthen your case. In those areas that remain
vulnerable, prepare how you wish to handle them should they

8. Be Fair
Negotiation is not an "I win, you lose" proposition. Webster's
dictionary defines negotiate as "to bring about by mutual
agreement". The best negotiators I know create "win - win"
situations in every negotiation.

9. Don't Tip Your Hand
Uncertainty is your key advantage in most negotiations. If your
adversary knows what you desire most, your negotiating position
is not as strong. Play it close to the vest.

10. Be Flexible
Understand that negotiation frequently involves compromise.
Look for creative solutions to the problems presented in the
negotiation. Make tradeoffs in order to gain those elements
you most desire.

11. Winning Isn't Everything
It is easy to get caught up in the competitive spirit of a
negotiation. Remember that the point of negotiation is to reach
a common agreement on how to move forward. While it may be
possible to bludgeon your adversary into agreeing to your terms,
this does not create the "mutual agreement" that makes for a
truly successful negotiation.

12. Quit While You Are Ahead
Too many people have to see just how far they can push a
negotiation. They have to try to get just one more concession.
This attitude can be a deal breaker. The best negotiations are
brief and to the point. Get agreement on your major points and
stop. Additional items can be addressed in subsequent

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About Article Author

Tony L. Callahan
Tony L. Callahan

Tony L. Callahan is president of his own Internet marketing
company, Link-Promote < http://www.link-promote.com >. He also
publishes Web-Links Monthly, a newsletter full of tips, tricks,
tools and techniques for successful web site promotions. To
subscribe, send e-mail to: < Web-Links-subscribe@topica.com >.

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