Negotiation in a NutshellA quick refresher on negotiating that I have found helpful is a one-page article by Bob Gibson called "Six Keys to Negotiating Success." Gibson, founder and president of Negotiation Resources, explains that, though the following tips are oriented to sales negotiations, they apply to any area in which you need negotiating skill.
- Negotiation is an ongoing process, not an event. That's why putting effort into building good relationships with those you will be negotiating with is so important.
- Avoid a subservient mentality. Make sure you are fully aware of the value you bring to the table, and project a sense of confidence.
- Prepare. Investigate the answers to such questions as: What are the personal hot buttons of the decision-maker and influencers? Have there been any previous problems with the account? How well is their business doing?
- Determine the best- and worst-case scenarios for you and the other party. This allows you to surmise in advance of the negotiation where you and the other person have overlapping interests.
- Build value to strengthen your negotiating position. "For example, change the way you package or deliver your products or services to make it more convenient or profitable for the prospect." Your aim is to be clearly perceived as having more value to offer than any of your competitors.
- Expect reciprocity. "If you don't, you are training the other party to continue to ask for more, and reducing the value of anything you do concede." You need to be perceived as an equal in the negotiation process.