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Secrets of Negotiation

Baskar Sundaram

Negotiation is a skill much needed in any workspace. Much like strategic moves made by chess players, power negotiators have their game plan and strategies. Given below are some key ideas behind successful negotiation:

Ask for More

The initial step to negotiation is always asking for more than what you expect to receive. That way both parties will meet halfway and you can achieve your set target. Suppose the asking price is $10 and you are willing to pay only $8. Take the difference and double it. You should state that you are willing to pay $6 and then both parties can negotiate and reach the goal of $8 you had already set.

Body Language 

Body language is also key when negotiating. When you hear the price you can visibly looked shocked or flinch which might immediately prompt the seller to lower the price or you can calmly tell, “You can do better than that,” which puts the ball back in their court. If they respond with, “How much better do I have to do, exactly?” then you must keep the first point in mind when offering your price.

Decline the First Offer

Always refuse the first offer made. Take the first scenario of $10. When you offer to pay only $6 and the seller immediately accepts it. This a cause to celebrate but the alarm bells are also ringing. You begin to question the quality of the product based on the eagerness of the seller. So always decline the first offer and both parties should willingly negotiate to feel like they won their part and leave the table satisfied. 

Trade-Off 

Concessions should be done as a trade-off between both parties. If the other party asks a favour or requests something from you, ask them what you will get in return. This keeps the balance between both parties and who knows what unexpected favour might come from with.

Third-Party and Walk Away

Involving a third-party authority is a great way to seal the deal. If the client is asking for an unreasonable concession and offers nothing in return, you can say that you need to discuss it with other people and come back and say the higher-ups did not approve. That way you are a harmless middle man.

You can also call a seemingly neutral person to get involved in the conversation like your manager. The manager is on the side of the company but a different person can have an impact on the negotiation. 

The most powerful move is the ability to walk away from the deal. Show the other party that there are other options and you can walk away from the deal without any issues.

Change Things 

Before you walk away think of ways in which you can change the current situation. Instead of discussing the matter now, you could suggest to meet later or discuss the matter over dinner. Change of environment and scene will help both parties. You can also focus on the things you agree on and slowly discuss the major disagreements and issues. 

By employing various strategies at the right point of negotiation can vastly help with the process. Be aware of the moves made by the other party and both the parties must leave feeling victorious and happy. 

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