In a business environment that gets more aggressive by the day, mastering the art of negotiation can bring you numerous advantages, regardless of the position you occupy in a company. While knowing how to negotiate correctly can help you obtain a bigger salary, better working conditions or miscellaneous advantages if you’re just an employee, good negotiation skills can bring you a lot more if you are in the upper management – you can persuade investors, gain better deals with your partners and obtain higher profits. Be that as it may, negotiation is not an easy skill to obtain and use, as is consists of being familiar with multiple strategies and having an in-depth understanding of the human thought process. An even more important element of negotiation, though, is being able to correctly assess your own strengths and weaknesses.
Business negotiation is not just a one-shot hit-or-miss kind of thing, but a very complex process that has multiple stages. For an efficient negotiation process, you will have to make some preparations in advance, do your best during the actual negotiation process and, last but not least, evaluate your performance after a deal is reached. Most people focus solely on the center segment, which is the negotiation itself, which might still be effective, but not nearly as effective as it could be. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the negotiation process, along with explanations on what happens on each step, and why it is important to your business.
During this stage, the objectives that make the subject of the negotiation are defined, along with the exact requirements. Since it’s a negotiation process we’re talking about, which can have various outcomes, minimum acceptable limits should be set in place, and various scenarios must be taken into account. There are usually multiple variables that make the object of the overall process, and it is up to the negotiator to find the best possible balance throughout the process, and determine where concessions can be made. During this stage, it is of crucial importance for the negotiator to correctly determine the category he falls into: empathetic value-creator, assertive value-claimer, assertive value-creator, relational negotiator or outcome-focused negotiation. While there are numerous ways for a negotiator to determine which category he falls into, using the Negotiation 360 app is by far one of the most convenient options, as it is fast, easy to use and not only will it indicate the category one falls into, but also provide further guidance on the negotiation process.
This stage is where the actual negotiations take place. The sides meet; they each explain their requirements and their starting offer, and discussions start. We highlighted before that a negotiation must know what category he falls into, but it is equally important to be able to categorize the negotiators of the other parties as well, because they will act up based upon their type.
Empathic value-creators are people that are exceptionally good at understanding the needs of others (along with the logic behind them), but may not be as efficient when it comes to determining their own needs. If the other negotiator falls into this category, talking more about your needs will get you the best offer.
At the opposite pole, the assertive value-claimers are the ones that care about their own needs the most. If you’re the one in the spot, you should be able to get the biggest piece of the pie, but if another negotiator falls into this category, you may need some outside help, and Negotiation 360 will indicate what the best approach is when dealing with an assertive value-claimer.
Assertive value-creators are good at making their needs heard; what they’re not very good at is to know when to stop. While pushing your luck a bit might be good, especially if you have solid grounds for doing so, go too far and you might end up on the losing end of the deal.
Relational negotiators are usually good at creating interpersonal connections, but lack the skills to seal the deal in their favor. With Negotiation 360, you will learn how to take the final step, and score both the goal you set, as well as the respect of the other party.
Last but not least, the outcome-focused negotiator is the one that knows how to blend the best of all worlds, making a solid case for him, but without neglecting others’ needs. This is the ideal you should be looking up at.
After the deal
So the negotiations are done and you got yourself a deal. Whether it’s the one you were looking forward to, a better one or, hopefully not the case, a worse one, you’re not quite done. Take a moment to look back at the process and try to identify your strong points and your weaknesses. Negotiation 360 comes with a wide range of self-evaluation options that will allow you to perform even better at your next round of negotiations.
By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!