The process of business negotiations is very similar to the process of minimizing and handling objections. You need to expect obstacles and be prepared to meet the challenges. Like a series of gears that need lubricating in order to turn, you use words to lubricate the negotiation. If you feel that you have expert knowledge or outstanding ability in the handling of objections then you generally should be good at business negotiations. The key as in any skill is to fine tune your professional abilities in such a way as to have a systematic approach. This will enable you to deal with each issue or concern a person puts forward.
You will need to develop as part of the process active listening abilities in order to process the information being shared. Too many of us practice inactive listening (in one ear and out the other) and as a result never really understand the message being conveyed to us. Try to utilize the ears to mouth ratio that has been given to all of us. A good negotiator should listen twice as much as they speak.
There exists several ways to filter the messages being conveyed and I like the following ones. Start by being empathetic enough to understand the issue. This can be achieved by asking questions that help to create clarity. As an example you could say “Can you be more precise or what would you suggest or like to see as a solution”? To help things along I would suggestion that you work towards pinpointing three main areas of concern and then ask them to rank the concerns by importance as this may help structure the process. Once this is established and understood, work backwards by starting with the last concern.
At this point you could consider reformulating or paraphrasing the question or the issue in the form of a question. Be patient and show empathy by responding back efficiently. In some respects the negotiation can resemble that of a tennis match. You must keep your focus and eye on the ball. As the exchange takes place your brain is at the ready and anticipating the incoming ball and series of movements. When you watch a professional tennis player they are not thinking about their technique. They are focused on where and how to play the ball. They are calm under pressure and in control. You need to be as well and this requires practice.
In a negotiation match, it is important to recognize that everyone is different and although intuitively we understand that, most of us do not take the time to consider how our differences impact each person’s approach.
You could do before engaging in a negotiation is to get yourself in the right frame of mind. At this point it is show time so all your other problems of the day will need to be put aside and parked.
One of the fascination things I like about negotiating is the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to overcome obstacles. The challenge is to find a mid point and something that both parties agree on. The goal or objective should not be to win the discussion. You may win the negotiation but lose the opportunity. One way to reduce opposition and create a stress less process is through the use of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing shows the person you are speaking with, that you appreciate their point of view and if you re-state it accurately it will show you have been listening and comprehend what they said to you. Because you listened, understood and appreciated their point of view they should be more open minded to listen to your point of view. When reciprocity, respect and trust is created barriers will be lowered and the right tone can be set.
Let’s be perfectly clear about negotiations you are not trying to overpower, outwit or pressure the customer/client into doing something they do not want to do or the reverse that they may want you to do. The purpose is to determine what is really on their mind so that you can suggest a solution that is mutually beneficial. This is why you will find yourself going through a process to comprehend, communicate, present and conclude the negotiation with win-win results.
As with anything you engage yourself to do in business You should expect good things to happen to you. You should expect to be successful. It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you will win the chances are higher than if you think you will lose. It is always better to have positive expectancy and exude confidence. In doing so you can attract good luck, great clients, great revenues. If you act and behave like a winner you should be a winner. It requires determination patience’s and stamina. In a negotiation you need to keep going when others are ready to give up. Extend your personal and professional quit line in order to achieve the things most business owners dream of achieving. Do you have the audacity to be the master of your destiny? Want to learn more we are just an email or phone call away.