Negotiation is defined as ‘discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.’ Whether you want to discuss your telephone contract or want a salary increase, the idea is that you reach a deal through negotiation. For many people negotiating can be daunting, however even the best negotiators can improve by following some basic rules and tips. The aim is to show you the best process to follow to enable you to get the best deal.
1. Research Alternatives Before Starting
Before you start negotiations with anything, it is important that you know the alternatives available if no deal can be reached. Knowing exactly what is available elsewhere is one of the best ways to start negotiation. By researching available alternatives, it is much easier to walk away from a deal, therefore increasing your bargaining power. All this helps you determine your reservation price, the most you would pay, or the least you would take, to cut a deal.
2. Make the First Offer (Anchoring)
Sometimes referred to the process of ‘anchoring‘, by making the first offer this allows you to state your intentions and starting position. By communicating your position early in proceedings you can influence the deal.
This is a scientific approach as it is well-know in terms of cognitive bias as an increased amount of weight is put on the first number on the table. If you are unable to make the first offer then be prepared for this technique. Rather than go back with a price, the best tip is to defuse the offer by stating simply it is ‘way off’.
If you are negotiating more than just a telephone and want some negotiation training then The Gap Partnership are best in the business.
3. Counter Offer Response
Even if you want to accept the first offer, it is important to make an aggressive counteroffer. By using point 1 (alternatives) aim for as close as possible to the real and target value. A simple counteroffer can make all the difference in getting what you want to getting a slightly better deal than you have currently. Additionally, if you accept the first offer, the other party might regret it, and actually might push for more terms and conditions.
4. Silence is Key
Remaining silent during negotiations is a powerful tool, unless you are asking a question then stay quiet. Silence can be uncomfortable for the other side, let the other side give you as much information as possible. The best negotiators listen more and ask more questions.
Whatever you are negotiating, follow the above process and make any deal work for you. A great book to read on the subject is The Negotiation Book by Steve Gates, not only is it an interesting read it gives tips and tricks for everyday situations.