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Learn the Rules of the Game and Win Negotiations

Learn the Rules of the Game and Win Negotiations

Winning things in life is impossible if you can’t master the rules of the game you’re playing. Business people like CEOs, managers, effective negotiationsentrepreneurs, and sellers should know the ins and outs of negotiations; otherwise they won’t be able to make a name of themselves. Prior to getting involved in demanding business deals, your main priority should be that of acquiring as much information as possible about your opponent. Don’t treat them as if they were your enemies and focus on your goals by targeting their weaknesses. In negotiations, the rules of the game are simple:

  • Never underestimate your counterparts
  • Knowledge is power
  • Don’t focus on price
  • Be a good seller
  • Always be ready to walk away

Learning the rules might seem easy, applying what you’re learned is the difficult part. Expert negotiators are not used to playing by the book, so whatever negotiation strategies you’re planning to use, always be prepared for the unexpected.

Never underestimate your counterparts

Skilled negotiators are aware of how important power can be in negotiations. If you’re feeling weak or uncertain, don’t be shy to ask for a break. Opponents can be more powerful than you, or they can pretend they’re better bargainers. Don’t underestimate them, don’t doubt their strategies, and don’t show off any kinds of emotions. Keep things simple, casual, relaxed and you might get yourself a better deal that you expected. If, on the other hand, your emotions get the best of you, just be quiet, talk less, and try not to exaggerate with your body language.

Knowledge is power

Let’s assume that you want to sell an item with an historical value at a garage sale. You find a potential client who’s interested in your product, but who’s not aware of its real value. He will offer you a much lower price. If you can demonstrate that what you’re selling has great value, you’ll be able to explain to your client why you can’t accept his offer unless he’s willing to pay more. In business negotiations the exact same principle applies, only we call it LEVERAGE. Bargaining for something only you or company can offer, will give you an advantage and it’s important to use that advantage to get the best deal possible.

effective negotiations

Don’t focus only on price

Focusing on personal interests is a lot better than focusing solely on price. Although it is important to have a certain budget range in mind, try not to appear greedy in the eyes of your opponent. In some cases, it’s impossible to settle on a deal without being familiar with the way a counterpart assesses values and priorities. Negotiators who concentrate on cash end up failing to reach a mutually beneficial agreement because they won’t be able to make concessions and settle for less.

Be a good seller

Every good negotiator is also a good seller. It’s extremely important to appear convincing and sell yourself if you want to win a good bargain. Anticipate compromise but don’t be willing to sacrifice too much. Never accept a first offer even if it’s better than you expected, and be ready to put on your disappointment face. Be polite and decline, but leave a door open for further negotiations.

effective negotiations

Always be ready to walk away

Walking way from a negotiation is never easy. Yet, it’s one of the main rules of business. How can you agree to an offer that won’t bring you any benefits? As a business owner and individual, you most likely have a set of principles you usually adhere to. People in general have values they’re not willing to compromise, so if an offer can’t satisfy your needs, it’s best to reject it and move on. Losing a negotiation is not a shameful act, on the contrary; it’s a confirmation you’re a person with principles, morals, and goals, not just want-to-be business extremist with the clear purpose of humiliating a counterpart and winning all.

The business world can be an unpredictable environment. It’s like being prepared to play chess only to realize that your opponent is welcoming you to play tennis. Knowing the rules of the game doesn’t guarantee a fulfilling result. However, they can certainly help you mold your strategies so as to win negotiations the honest way.

 

About William Taylor

William Taylor wrote this article. He is a frequent writer who has contributed many high quality articles to various business sites. He also writes for the site London Speaker Bureau which is world’s leading speaker and advisory network.