Whether at work (e.g. in the sales department), with our partner or in other situations of our daily life, we all have to negotiate at some point in our lives , because we are social beings and have to live with other people.
Negotiating is an art, and to do so we must master not only some techniques specially designed to maximize our chances of success in a negotiation, but we must also master a series of communication skills such as those explained in the article “The 10 basic communication skills”
Tips for closing a successful negotiation
Now, what can we do to make a negotiation successful? In the following lines we explain this.
1. Know your interlocutor
It is always ideal to know who we are talking to (for example, their values). Sometimes, it is possible to research the person in front of us, either through their social networks, Google or through common acquaintances. On other occasions, however, this will not be possible, so we should take some time to find out more about the person in front of us and analyze the situation that involves us.
2. Identify the need of the other person
It is not only necessary to find out facts about the person and how they are, but we must also know their needs. Knowing what you are looking for and what you want to obtain is essential to be able to negotiate with someone. Otherwise, we will be playing around.
3. Be clear about what you are offering
In addition to knowing the product or the needs of the other partner, it is also mandatory to know your own. “What do you offer?” or “What do you need?” are some of the questions you should ask yourself before starting the negotiating conversation. Any negotiation requires you to know yourself in depth and to be clear about the added value you are offering.
4. Be empathetic
Empathy is key in any interpersonal relationship, but it is also key when we intend to negotiate with others. Empathy means putting yourself in other people’s shoes , understanding the world they perceive and the emotions they feel. This is indispensable if we want the negotiation to be successful, because it allows us to regulate our own behaviour and adapt it to the situation and the interlocutor we are negotiating with.
5. Active listening
When we negotiate, the other person has a lot to say and not just us. But even if it doesn’t seem like it, we often hear and don’t listen. This happens especially in a negotiation, in which we want to impose our needs and it is quite common that we want to sell ourselves well at all costs, and sometimes only thinking about ourselves.
Because listening is as important as talking, and that is why it is important to have full communication with the other side of the negotiating table. The best option in this case is active listening , which focuses not only on the verbal message, but also on the non-verbal one and on the emotions that the other person projects.
- If you want to go deeper into this aspect, you can read the article “Active listening: the key to communicating with others”
6. Don’t expect to get everything you want
When facing a negotiation it is important to be aware that we will not always achieve 100% of what we set out to do because the other person also has needs. That is why it is important to learn to give in, but not at any price . The aim is to reach a balance, to that point where both partners win.
7. Be persuasive
A good negotiator must be a person with the ability to persuade, as it is necessary to convince the other party that what we are offering is good for them as well as for us. Persuasion is not swindling the other person , it is an art that can be learned and that aims to make our point of view attractive to the other person as well.
- For further reading: “Persuasion: definition and elements of the art of convincing”
8. Trust yourself
It is impossible to convince anyone if we are not convinced ourselves of what we are offering. And even less so if we are not convinced of our chances of success in the negotiation. Many times it is not what we say, but how we say it . If we are sure of our arguments, it is possible that the other person will trust what we are proposing.
9. Manage your emotions appropriately
A negotiation is not a path of roses, so there are conflicting moments. If we want the negotiation to end well, it is necessary to redirect the situation towards an area where it is possible to talk calmly. Therefore, controlling and managing emotions is almost a must, as getting angry does not benefit the smooth running of the negotiation at all.
If you are aware that the negotiation is complicated and both parties are not in the optimal negotiation zone, it is better to take a few minutes to clear your mind and return to the negotiation table with other spirits.
- Mindfulness can be a good tool for these stressful moments. You can learn more in the article “Mindfulness at work: what are its benefits?”
10. Have a positive attitude
A positive attitude and optimism is necessary in a negotiation, as there may be times when things do not go as you wish. Maintaining a positive attitude helps to find a balance and allows you to deal with adverse situations that may arise at a negotiation table.