The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘negotiation’ as:
noun: a formal discussion between people who are trying to reach an agreement : an act of negotiating.
If negotiation is a give and take process between two or more parties then you need to be aware of your ideal outcome, what you will accept as a minimum and what you will not accept (causing you to walk away from the table). And you need to have a firm grasp of these three outcomes before starting the process.
However, in order to participate in a ‘give and take process’ you also need to find out quickly what the other party sees as their ideal, minimum or unacceptable outcome.
This means you must:
- Have a strategy
- Develop tactics
- Ensure that the right team/individual is handling the negotiations
- That the ‘relationship’ with the other party is handled professionally
Some Tips from the MAPP Academy
- Start by researching – identify who you will be negotiating with. It might give you an idea as to what they will see as an ideal outcome for them.
- You must – ‘know your numbers’ – see the three outcomes suggested above, especially what will be your ‘deal breaker’.
- Look to find common ground.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – sometimes a client will give you more than you though they would. They can only say no!
- Stick to your numbers! Never be afraid to walk away – but do so professionally. Thank the other party for their time but no thanks for their offer. A polite refusal can lead to future negotiations; a ‘flounce’ leads to nothing!
Ensure that you have the right team/individual handling the negotiations
- Someone who asks for what you want in a confident way.
- Someone who also knows how to listen and pick up on the signs – body language, tone of voice will communicate over 90% of the message from the other party.
Sometimes silence on your part can act as pressure on the other party.
Handle the negotiations in a professional manner
- Ensure that you are negotiating with someone who can make decisions.
- Don’t forget to listen – give the other party respect
- Make concessions on a ‘tit for tat’ basis. Give back to the other party if they give to you. Never make concessions if none have been offered.
- Don’t be afraid to change your offer if you need to – but never change your own offer downwards. Never negotiate against yourself and don’t agree to something if it feels wrong. If it feels wrong it probably is – for you!
- Be creative – together. Use new information to adjust your offer.
- Don’t use the ‘walk away’ as a negotiating tactic.
- Finally, once the negotiations have come to a conclusion and both parties recognise that it is fair – put it into writing!
The Negotiation MAPP was created by members of the MAPP Academy along with Spoken Word Limited, a MAPP Partner company. It provides you with a framework for your negotiations. Have a look at the product description by following the link below:
Or to get directly to the Negotiation MAPP follow the product links below to the MAPP Store: