The best negotiation techniques to succeed
Even if you don’t consider yourself a master negotiator, you probably have more negotiation experience than you think. We use negotiation skills in all aspects of our lives, whether it’s asking for a cheaper phone contract, a promotion, or simply deciding where to go for dinner one evening. If you want to succeed in a career in marketing and sales, good negotiation skills could be the magic ingredient that takes you and your company from plummeting to profits.
People often wrongly assume that ‘negotiation’ is negative and involves two individuals or businesses battling for the best deal. This doesn’t have to be the case. A strong negotiator can develop long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships, where both parties are happy with their end of the deal. Read on to discover how to improve your negotiation skills to succeed in life and business.
Silence is a powerful and underrated tool in negotiation. Many amateur negotiators forget the importance of listening to their audience and instead focus on expressing their own point of view. However, it’s very difficult to negotiate unless you have a deep understanding of someone’s motivations and concerns, and this can only be discovered through listening.
In sales and marketing, you will need to conduct research to get a clear picture of your customer in order to best sell your product and services to them. So, before you start launching into a sales pitch, spend some time investing in market research or listening to your customer so that you can tailor your approach. An MBA in sales could help you to learn the importance of listening to your customer, and how to best conduct and use market research.
Negotiation goes wrong when both parties see each other as the ‘enemy.’ This can lead to confrontation and arguing rather than negotiation. Remind yourself that you and the other person are actually both on the same side, and both want the same thing: a good deal. In sales, the customer doesn’t want to be overcharged, and you want to give them a fair price. Even though overcharging might result in high profits as a once off, it’s a better investment long-term to give your customer as good a deal as possible and retain them for future business. An MBA could show you different ways to best approach negotiation.
The first step to any successful negotiation is to ask for what you want and more. A good negotiator knows to ask for much more than they are willing to settle for because this leaves room for negotiation. For example, if you want a salary increase, try asking for 20% more than you actually want in the first instance.
Many professionals avoid negotiating because they are worried about seeming pushy. One way to get around this is to practice. Negotiation is like any skill and will become easier over time. Keep a calm tone of voice and listen more than you talk, and you’ll be amazed at how well people respond.
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