Polish your negotiation skills so your next bargain ends smoothly with a “Deal.”
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez—author of Think Like A Negotiator and CEO of Dynamic Vision International, a company that helps individuals hone negotiation skills—points out these keys to successful bargaining.
1. Negotiate using the right mindset. Be confident—a trait you can project only if you’ve done your homework to learn both the strongest motivations and likeliest objections of the other party. Show your heart, which can make the opposition less defensive and more open to your stipulations.
2. Adopt the attitude that everything is negotiable. A world of opportunity will greet you. Is something against the rules? Then work to change them. Powerful negotiators are rule-breakers.
3. Go beyond networking meet-and-greets to make real connections. Use casual conversation to learn what people value in life, what annoys them, their ethics, etc.
4. Don’t fear rejection. In business, rejection is merely the result of not presenting a viable argument for receiving what you wanted; the offer is being rejected, not you, so stay calm and recalibrate your approach.
5. Never underestimate the power of silence. Have you ever been offered a product or service, and the seller kept talking until she talked you out of the purchase? Get comfortable with silence, and then your ability to win your argument, sell the product or gain a concession will greatly increase.
6. Put the final agreement in writing to eliminate ambiguities. Even better, consult a contracts lawyer to review documents that require signatures.
7. Carefully read any agreement or contract in full. This will allow you to confirm previously agreed upon terms.