10 Musts for Becoming a Negotiation Ninja

Hey I found this nice article from youngentrepreneur.com and thought of sharing it with you

“As an entrepreneur – and in life in general – it pays to be a great negotiator.  The best negotiators buy for less, sell for more, and generally get their way more often, whatever the situation.  Whether we’re dickering over lease terms, supplier pricing and turn-around times, advertising rates, or where to go for dinner tonight, we’re in the position of a negotiator quite often, so being good at it can pay off in many ways.  What’s funny is that most entrepreneurs describe themselves as great negotiators and even insist they’re better than most.  Obviously everyone can’t be better than everyone else, so chances are at least half of us can use a lot of help.  And even if you’re a master negotiator, there’s always room for improvement.

So here are 10 ways to improve your negotiation skills – and maybe even become a Negotiation Ninja!

1. Prepare well – When it comes to negotiation, preparation is more important than just about anything else.  The party in a negotiation who is best prepared is the one most likely to win, hands down.  This means, first of all, knowing exactly what you want – your bottom line.  It also means knowing as much about the other party and what they want as possible.  When preparing for a negotiation, write it all down.  You’ll do better with written goals.

2. Set the stage – For a negotiation to go your way, you need to make sure everything is in place for victory.  That means, the right people are at the table, and all the necessary forms, samples, demos, facts and figures (as applicable) are at the ready.  Also plan your side of the agenda well by starting with easy issues.  The more you can get the other side saying “yes” early on, the better your chances.

3. Leave some room – Having your first proposal accepted might sound like something you’d wish for, but it’s actually not a good sign.  To avoid leaving money or power on the table, ask for more and leave room for – negotiation!  Likewise, it’s almost never a good idea to accept the other side’s first proposal.

4. Display generosity – Sometimes the best way to get something is to give something first.  Reciprocation is human nature, as is the desire to work with people we like, so when you give concessions, you’re more likely to get them from the other side.  The best concessions are those with a high perceived value but that don’t cost you much – or anything.

5. Let your creativity blossom – While planning is critical for successful negotiation, flexibility and creativity are also important.  Follow your plan, but know when to think outside that plan for the good of both sides.  Always be thinking of ways to improve the outcome for all concerned.  The people on the other side of the table will appreciate it, and you just might end up with more than you bargained for – in a good way.

6. Know when to open your ears and close your mouth – Skillful negotiation isn’t about aggressively overpowering your opponent with your knowledge or bullying tactics.  Asking plenty of questions and listening more than talking will not only relax the other side, but you might just learn something valuable.

7. Win without making them lose – We’ve all heard the sometimes overused term “win-win” when it comes to successful negotiating.  But just because it’s overused doesn’t mean it’s not valid.  Rather than harming a potentially valuable future business relationship by making your opponent feel or look bad, be gracious, even if you know you’ve won a huge victory.

8. Be honest – As in anything relating to good business, honesty is the best policy.  Negotiating isn’t about lying or tricking the other side.  If you aren’t honest, it will almost certainly come back to haunt you.  And if you gain a reputation for insincerity, no other negotiation skills will save you.

9. Exercise patience – Negotiating effectively takes time.  Short cuts will often lead to your giving up or getting less than you would have by exercising patience.  So take a deep breath and don’t rush it.

10. Find a sounding board – Depending on the type of negotiation and what’s at stake, emotions might be very high on both sides.  To help you see through the emotion and focus on facts and substance, have a trusted advisor at the ready.  This advisor can be an attorney, business associate, or just a close friend, and it’s a good idea to discuss the negotiation with your advisor beforehand and, if possible, while in progress.

Ok, so now all you need is a mask and really cool sword, and your ninja training is complete!  Seriously though, negotiation skills are vital in business, so never stop learning.  And the best way to learn is through experience.  What negotiation experiences have you had, and what have you learned?  Share with the community in the comments!”

Source: http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/10-musts-for-becoming-a-negotiation-ninja/
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