NEGOTIATING is an everyday facet of our lives. Each day, we are negotiating numerous things with people, be they our spouses, children, colleagues, shopkeepers or others.
Getting by successfully in requires us to master this art. The better you are at it, the easier your journey through life will be.
Everyone wants to win. It is human nature to try and get our way. But that is simply not possible. The other side wants to win as well. And, hence, the eternal problem.
In each situation, someone takes and someone has to give. In mastering the art of negotiations, the idea is for both sides to give a little and take a little, and finding a balance that will eventually make each person feel like a winner.
Mastering the art of negotiations comes in handy when purchasing a property. In every sale, the seller has three main objectives:
Getting the highest price possible for his property;
Closing the deal in the shortest time possible; and,
Ensuring the terms of the sale are favourable to him.
For the purchaser, however, the objectives are the opposite. As expected, this situation presents all sorts of barriers. The trick is to find a middle ground that will make both the buyer and seller happy. Enter “the art of negotiations“.
For every negotiation to come to an amicable conclusion, there are several steps that both parties can adopt:
1. Establish a relationship
Negotiating is essentially engaging another human being in discussion. No discussion can be smooth without a working relationship being established. You will need to establish a relationship with the other party before negotiations commence. The deeper the relationship, the easier it will be to ask for things. The relationship allows you to get a feel of what the other party expects and what they will give away.
2. Be genuine
You need to project honesty and empathy in any negotiation. If you are trying to pull the wool over the other party‘s eyes, they will sense it. This will result in them being hostile and unwilling to concede anything. State your case clearly in a calm, non-aggressive manner. Be aware of your tone of voice. Remember that 10 per cent of arguments are over a specific subject matter, and 90 per cent of arguments start because of the tone of voice.
3. Be prepared to give and take
In as much as you want to win, always remember the other party wants the same thing. So while you try and win as many points as possible, always be prepared to give away things that are less important. Who knows, the things you give away may be important to the other party and both of you may be able to walk away feeling like winners.
4. Control the child within you
In every adult, there is a child hiding inside, just waiting to spring out and cause havoc. We have seen and experienced this. When we argue with our spouses, for example, pride gets in the way, and the inner child leaps out and throws a tantrum. The discussion escalates into a fight that neither of you are going to win. The same thing is embodied in a business negotiation. Keep the child inside, and let the adult conduct the discussion.
5. Talk, pause, reflect
Don‘t be the one who does all the talking. Remember, the other party has things they want to say as well. If you do not allow them to speak, they will walk away feeling unhappy. Let the other party do as much of the talking as possible. The more they talk, the more you will understand and know where they are coming from. This is a powerful tool you can use to demand things. State your case, pause, then allow them to talk.
Let them rebut you and state their case. While they are doing that, you should be formulating your next line of argument. Listen to them. Empathise with them. Let them know you understand their situation and feel for them. Then present your rebuttal.
By following these simple steps, you would have paved the way to a better understanding of the other person and created a better prospect of getting what you want.
The art of negotiations takes a lot of practice and time to master. Nevertheless, it is something every one of us can excel in. The better your negotiating skills, the more successful you will be.
Good luck and may the force be with you.