Even the most efficient negotiators can leave money on the table. Believe it or not, there are many reasons why people fail to bargain. In every type of negotiation, each of the parties involved is compelled to choose between two main options: agree or reject a deal. Negotiators use basic strategies to persuade opponents to accept an offer, and provided that the final deal meets the expectations of both parties, the negotiation ends. However, things are far more complicated than that, and numerous times negotiations don’t end on mutual terms. Not all business people are ethical, and some won’t hesitate to use the sneakiest techniques to get what they want.
Manipulation vs. Persuasion
Some would agree that manipulation and persuasion is the same thing. It’s not, at least not in the business environment. Negotiations are a lot more complex than meets the eye, and persuasion is a feature that can work miracles. Nowadays, many companies are run by teams of peers who are incredibly creative and effective. There are still many people who misunderstand persuasion. Why? Because it is often seen as a skill reserved for closing deals and selling products. Some see it as a concealed form of manipulation, even though it’s not.
Exercised constructively and used to its full potential, persuasion can be converted into an excellent negotiation tool. Manipulation on the other hand, is a characteristic often used by business people to deceive, fool, and mislead. It’s unethical to be manipulative, and by tricking opponents you’ll never be able to create connections and build relationships.
Appreciation and understanding
Effective negotiators should have respect and appreciation for their peers. In order to build connections and foster mutual agreements, gratitude is paramount. The ability to look past the “requirements” of an opponent and truly understand the main reason they’re bargaining with you is a vital element that may help you find common ground and close good deals. If you can’t understand what the other party wants from you, reaching a mutual agreement will be impossible.
A confusing attitude is a negotiator’s worst habit. How can you expect people to agree with you if they can’t even understand you? It’s important to be crystal clear with your demands. Enter negotiations prepared, be ready to listen, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Maintain a professional attitude, and never lose your temper. The calmer you are the higher chances you have to close incredible deals.
The “good cop/bad cop” technique
The good cop/bad cop approach is quite common in business negotiations. It is a strategy used by people who want to force their opponents to crack. Sometimes it works because it’s extremely manipulative and aggressive. Skilled negotiators won’t fall into that trap, though. Calling their bluff is easier than it seems. First of all, don’t allow either party to raise their voices or seem too egotistical. Let them talk and when they’re done exit the room. You are not obligated to put up with a hostile attitude, and if they want to do business with you, they’ll immediately change their attitudes.
Winning can’t always prevail
Unfortunately, many negotiators walk into a meeting with a sole purpose – to win. 50/50 deals are not always considered smart decisions and many actually believe that mutual agreements are for losers. That’s certainly not the case. Surprisingly, mutual deals can have a lot of benefits in the long-run because they’re based on building relations. Negotiations in general should be about cooperation and not about deceiving an opponent and using sneaky techniques to win.
What can business people do to sharpen their negotiation techniques? As human beings, we’re not born smart; we need time to shape our personalities and define our techniques. There’s no time for chitchat in the business environment, so if you’re a starting entrepreneur looking to succeed, it’s vital to learn how to bargain.
Negotiation workshops, trainings and related blogs can help you master the art of negotiations. You will have to deal with all kinds of people and dreadful situations on your path to success. Can you handle the pressure? Do you have what it takes to lose and learn something from each and every single one of your mistakes? If your answer’s “yes”, then you’re ready to excel in business.