- Remember you're the
expert: Think of negotiation as education. You’re the person who
knows your side of things so think of the negotiation as a process of helping
the other party understand your perspective.
- Negotiation is a two-way
street: Negotiation is a process of give and take. When you give
a concession, you can always ask for something in return. When determining what
to ask for, consider what’s fair for the ongoing relationship of both parties.
Care about the outcome. Remember though, good negotiators do not put their best
terms on the table first.
- Hold firm to your
principles: Don't forget you have something the other party
wants; they need you as much as you need them. When something is important to
you, stick to your guns. They will respect you for it.
- Know when to walk away:
If the deal is unacceptable, don’t cut your losses too late. I've heard horror
stories from people who have accepted loss-making contracts hoping to make up
the margin along the way. This rarely happens and the lingering ill-feeling is
bad for everyone. Know your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)
in advance so that you can walk away comfortably.
- Don't be intimidated:
You do not need to automatically accept the terms the other party offers you.
Remember, it's their job to get the best possible outcome possible. That's your
job too. Be particularly wary of unfairly punitive contract clauses, such as
late fees or liquidated damages.
- Keep your ear to the
ground: Always stay alert for clues as to how the negotiations
are progressing. It's a good sign if the other party promptly returns your
calls, keeps promised meeting times and gets back to you when they say they
- Negotiate at the proper authority
level: Negotiate with the person who can say ‘yes’. Don’t let
your negotiation get lost in translation.
- Don't celebrate until the contract is
signed: The negotiation process has many twists and turns and
what looks good today might not look so good tomorrow.
- Respect the process:
Negotiation can take time. There may be lots of to’ing and fro’ing. Drive the
process without getting impatient. Hold true with your behaviour. Don’t send
mixed messages that might confuse the other party and delay the negotiation
30 August 2012
Some quick tips for improving negotiation skills to help you navigate the journey to a successful outcome for both parties: