Life is filled with negotiation opportunities. For some people, their livelihoods are tied to every negotiation attempt.
As a business owner or manager, you are constantly negotiating with customers, salespeople, suppliers, employees, board of directors, boss, manager or colleagues.
Add to that list the banker, leasing company, healthcare insurance provider, building landlord or facility management company, IRS, US Postal Service and maybe a local or state legislator.
Negotiation for some is a natural habit. Their motto, like mine, is “Everything is negotiable if only you ask.” Or maybe it’s like my friend, Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator (http://TheMasterNegotiator.com), who believes that “You are always negotiating.”
Now is a great time to think about the negotiation opportunities that lie ahead this year. Here are a few “do’s and don’ts” I have found helpful.
- Do your homework. Research the party with whom you are to negotiate long before you meet.
- Study the science of body language. Learn how to read people. The mouth lies, the body does not.
- Write down your negotiation goals. Share them with someone who will hold you accountable. No fibbing. You cheat yourself if you do.
- Dress powerfully for you and your profession. Feel strong and you will be strong.
- Remove time pressures. Many a negotiation outcome was blown due to an untimely departure for the airport.
- Don’t assume you know who the decision maker is. Get confirmation from reliable sources.
- Don’t overlook your team’s important roles. Prior to the first meeting, confirm the roles of your team negotiators.
- Lead negotiator
- Note taker
- Back-up negotiator who may step in when the lead sends the signal for assistance, a breather or a switch of roles.
- Mediator, if things get heated, who can step in and restore balance and order.
- Don’t let someone from the other side take the negotiation minutes. Each side needs its own record.
- Don’t leave a negotiation meeting without assigning responsibilities in preparation for the next meeting. Review the assignments before departure.
- Don’t assume everyone will remember the assigned responsibilities. Confirm the assignments in writing with all negotiation participants within 48 hours following each meeting completion.
May this year open up more opportunities for negotiations for you. Invest in yourself and learn more about negotiation. Your happiness and success are in your hands.
“Everything is Negotiable if Only You Ask.”
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