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We have previously read about the art of time management. It’s a pretty safe bet that at various times in your life, you will have to negotiate – for a business contract, a new car, or even a personal relationship. Obviously, you want to walk away satisfied that you have made the best deal. And you will want the person you are negotiating with to walk away satisfied as well, because a successful negotiation is one in which everyone feels they have gained in some way.

Negotiation

Wouldn’t it be a different world if everybody thought the way you did? If everybody spontaneously conformed to your every wish, your every thought, your every feeling? Since life doesn’t work that way, you would do well to become skilled at the art of negotiation.

Since both parties want to win, what is the best way to proceed? Here are a few important tips to negotiate :

1. Prepare in Advance

Homework always helps! Know the other party and how it thinks. Think about what it needs – not what they want. Research the market value of whatever you are trying to sell or purchase. If you are the buyer, check out other possible suppliers. It may only take two to tango, but you will want to dance with everyone in the room. It is easy to find resources online. And preparation is the key to success!

2. Be respectful

Your reputation is important for future business, so be sure to pay attention to how you approach your conversations with sponsors. Avoid using statements like “I want,” and replace them with phrases such as “We would both benefit from.” Keep discussions results-oriented and try not to misinterpret professional discussion as a reflection of your personal value. Respectful communication can go a long way with sponsors and generate a favorable impression regardless of negotiation outcomes.

3. Establish a relationship

Don’t push it. Don’t rush it. Trust, which is gained through that respect, is the key to successful negotiation.
The wise negotiator establishes the relationship before proceeding further. You are best positioned to negotiate when the other party respects you, not only as a businessperson, but as a human being. Doing so allows you to get a feeling for the person with whom you are dealing, and vice versa. Though often ignored, “feeling” itself is an essential part of negotiation. So, always be open and sincere. Honesty, integrity and dignity are palpable qualities, and the foundation upon which constructive negotiations are built.

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4. Focus on the win-win

Skilled negotiators know that all people involved should find themselves on the same side of the fence. You want to be a player, not a pain. Keep your eye on the big picture and don’t get caught up in the small stuff. Stay out of the weeds.
Win-wins are the only way to go. Don’t think only about yourself! Understand the opposite party. Work towards a common goal. It is never black and white (win-lose). That shows limited thinking. Thus, inculcate creativity in your negotiation and come up with win-win scenarios

5. Know your USP

Leverage or the Unique selling proposition is the ability to influence the opposite party and convince them in your favour. Make them understand your proposition. This is important to boost your negotiating power. Thus, you have high chances of achieving a favorable outcome. Do a SWOT analysis to determine the unique value you can provide a the opposite party. Be sure to highlight this positive leverage in your negotiations.

By mastering the subtle art of negotiation, you establish yourself as a top-rank business person, and that in itself may lead to even greater opportunities in the future.

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