We are in negotiations everyday, with family, friends, and especially colleagues. While negotiating, it is important to do so in such a way that the needs and wishes of both parties are met, so that the relationship continues in a positive way.
In a business environment, it is necessary that you, as a negotiator, concentrate on the quality of the deal, rather than being focused on just closing the deal. Keep the following Dos and Don’ts in mind when negotiating a deal.
View negotiations as a collaborative process.
Rather than taking an adversarial approach in order to be successful in business negotiations, it is always advisable to take a collaborative approach. This allows both parties the space to work together towards creating deals that are beneficial to all, and thus creates more value in the long run. To adopt this approach, organizations need to build the skills of negotiators, and also ensure that a standard negotiation process is followed.
Don’t focus on driving a hard bargain.
The focal point should be on effectively working together to be more productive once the deal has been concluded, rather than driving a hard bargain. The negotiations should aim at achieving something greater, rather than just signing on the dotted line. It will be immensely helpful if you, as a negotiator, decide prior to sitting down for negotiations what you need from your corresponding team, and how you can fill in what they require. By trying to understand the needs and limitations of the opposing side, you as a negotiator will be able to work out solutions that meet the needs of both parties. This will ultimately foster a positive environment, and lead to building strong working relationships.
As a negotiator, you should carry out negotiations in a justifiable manner, rather than using coercion, thereby creating a healthy working relationship. Carrying out negotiations in a justifiable manner will be immensely helpful in sorting out problems that might arise during the implementation stage.
Adopt a two-pronged approach to negotiations.
As a negotiator for your organization, you will need to adopt a two-pronged approach to negotiations—getting the best possible deal for your organization, and creating a cordial and strong working relationship that will enable both parties to peacefully work together. You, as a negotiator, will have to believe that getting a good deal for your organization and creating a healthy working relationship are not mutually exclusive. As negotiations are a prelude to future exchanges, you will have to ensure an amicable relationship with the other party. You cannot assume that you can repair relationships after coercing a deal.
Ensure adequate stakeholder representation from both sides.
In a fruitful negotiation, negotiators as well as implementers have to be present to ensure that the needs of the project are aptly represented, and the commitments made on the negotiating table are capable of fulfilment. As a negotiator, you will have to ensure that an adequate number of stakeholders from both sides take part in the deal making process.
Don’t ignore the difficult issues to seal a deal.
In negotiations, it is worthwhile to confront the difficult issues, rather than ignoring or minimizing them to seal the deal. As a negotiator, it is important for you to raise the potential problem areas and iron out probable solutions with the other side. Always bear in mind that by ignoring risks and problems, you do not make them go away. Therefore, work together with the other side to address the risks and problems, and identify ways and means to iron them out.
If your organization has a reputation of being fair and honest, you will find it much easier to negotiate a win-win deal for your organization. If the other party feels that you are not being fair to them, they might not be willing to give you any concessions. The attitude of fair play is very important in negotiations, and is a major key to making a successful deal.
Stitt Feld Handy Group offers comprehensive negotiation training for small businesses and individuals. Contact us today if you need assistance in employing these negotiation tactics for your small business.