Six Negotiation Tactics That Drive The Best Deals, Part 1

Negotiation skills are foundational to business. We negotiate for our jobs and salaries, for promotions and resources, with clients and in sales. We negotiate contracts, prices, terms and more. No matter how skilled you are in negotiations, you also must be aware of how to navigate the potential pitfalls.

Best-selling business author Adam Grant tackles the techniques of negation in his top seller, Give and Take, which leadership coach Kristi Hedges highlighted in her recent Forbes article, "Six Surprising Negotiation Tactics That Get You The Best Deal." We'll share these techniques today and tomorrow in Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Share information. We often approach negotiation being very guarded and wary of showing our cards. Yet, while we believe this is a smart approach, it has a negative impact on our outcomes and inhibits trust. As Grant points out, people tend to "follow the norm of reciprocity, responding in kind to how we treat them." If we want to be trusted, we must first offer it.

Studies have shown that revealing some information, even when it's unrelated to the negotiation, increases the outcome. You don't have to put all your cards on the table at the outset. Simply putting something of yourself out there—your hobbies, personal concerns and hopes—can set a positive tone that's conducive to gaining agreement.

2. Rank order your priorities. Typically, when we negotiate, we know what our key issues are, and we sequence them. For example, if we're trying to close a new client, we might say that price is most important, and if we don't agree, there's no use in continuing. Grant recommends another approach called rank ordering. His research shows that you can achieve better outcomes by ranking; leaving all the issues on the table and being transparent about it. That way both parties can compare their rankings and determine what the full set of options really are.

You often see this in negotiations to buy a house. The buyer might agree to a high price, because that's important to the seller, but the seller agrees to a later move-in date, because that's higher value to the buyer.

3. Go in knowing your target price and your walkaway terms. Grant calls your walkaway price (or terms) your reservation price. Your target price is what you're hoping for. Often, we go into negotiations with one or the other, or let our partner start the bidding. This puts us at a huge disadvantage.

It's critical to do the research ahead of time. You need your research to be based on firm data, as not only will it provide more confidence and power to you, but it also reduces the chance that you'll throw something crazy out there. By knowing your own range, it will help you make better decisions in the moment and be clear about your limits.

So, do your homework. For example, know what price the market will bear and what is reasonable based on outside research.

Are you feeling more confident already? Read PCT again tomorrow as Hedges highlights more negotiation tactics from Give and Take.

Source: Kristi Hedges is a leadership coach, speaker and author of Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others.

filed under August 2018
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