When you hear the word “negotiation,” you probably think of some high-stakes situation involving SWAT teams, dangerous criminals, and tense conversations through megaphones. Negotiation skills certainly come into play in those instances, but they are also very useful when it comes to smaller concerns, like business deals, customer service, asking for a raise, or even haggling for a good price at a market.
No matter what line of work you’re in, having skilled negotiators on your team is a tremendous asset, as it makes for employees that can compromise effectively and settle minor disputes with one another (allowing for smoother interdepartmental interactions). And it allows your company to develop better relationships with it’s partners, suppliers, and clients, which means lower prices and higher profits for your company.
If you want to instill a culture of skilled negotiation in your workplace, consider using a negotiation skills eLearning course to teach your employees the ropes. Be sure to cover this basic process when you do so.
- Prepare: Before you step into a negotiation, you should have done your homework. What is the other side’s assets, strengths, needs? What is the other side asking for, and how can you give it to them, while getting the best possible payment in return? What do you need, and what are you willing to pay for it (whether that be in time, effort, money, etc.)?
- Exchange information: You don’t need to show all of your cards in ever deal, but you should give the other side enough information to make an informed decision. After all, they are trading something for what you have and are likely making the same mental calculations of risk vs. reward. After you’ve told them the pertinent information they need and have received the same from them, the deal can move forward.
- Bargain: Bargaining is an art form in itself, and countless books have been written about it. It takes practice and real world experience to hone it, so find a trusted mentor who can show you the ropes. In the meantime, know that the basics of bargaining comes down to planning. If it’s a matter of money, you need to have a minimum and maximum price settled in your head before you step into the room, as well as contingency plans in case the other side’s best offer seems unsatisfactory.
- Seek Compromise: The party you are negotiating with have likely established their own minimums and maximums they would like to give or receive, so the key is determining if your price range overlaps with theirs. Be assertive, but genial, and do your best to meet their needs, while also making it clear that you want your needs met as well.
- Close the deal: In an official deal, there is likely paperwork and legalese to be taken care of, so make sure everyone is willing to move forward and then get it in writing. Whether you need a signature, a payment, or other written promise to pay or go forward with the deal, it’s important to make it official so both parties get what they want.
What tips do you have for a would-be negotiator? Share your tricks of the trade in the comments! And if you’re looking for someone to help you create the perfect eLearning course on negotiation skills, reach out to our Custom Solutions team for a quote!