Successful Negotiation Skills

Have you ever heard these words, “That’s it! Take it or leave it!” or “Don’t tell me to do this again! I will not!” or have you said these words yourself: “I am wasting my time with you! Negotiating with you is a completely useless activity!” or “I will meet you in the courthouse soon. Good bye…”

If you have heard or said these words at any point of your life for any reason, it is time you learnt one very important fact of life: that you cannot do without negotiation, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

While some people may say that negotiation is an art, some others may say that it is intuitive, and one need not have to actually learn how to negotiate with others.

But the fact remains that most people do not know the basics of how to negotiate in such a way that you will be able to get what you want, and it would help greatly to learn at least the basics.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Be willing to negotiate: Negotiate, even if you think and know that it is rude, or if you feel too shy to do it. Remember, there is more to making a deal than simply shying away from it, and if the other person knows that you are shying away from it, he will take full advantage of it, and why not? Anyone would!
  • Try not to get too involved emotionally in the negotiation process. While some people may start to shout and scream in anger, others may react the opposite way, but the trick is to remain firm, remain calm, and know what you want, and wait patiently until you get it, using your negotiating skills.
  • At times, you may need to sign a contract. You may not like what you are reading, and may feel that such stipulations must not be there. What do you do? Do you simply sign it, or do you cross off the things you don’t want? You must choose the latter option; after all, you are the person signing the contract, and why should the other person get all the benefits?
  • Another trick is to try to never be the one to name a figure. When you are asked, “What is your hourly rate?” do you fumble and quote a figure that is lower than what you intended to quote? I used to do exactly that, until I learnt my lesson. I ask the other person to quote his rate, and I have often found that the figure he quotes is, most of the time, much higher than I would have dared to quote.
  • If you do not want to be rushed into making your decision, make up an imaginary figure of ‘authority’ that you have to defer to before deciding. This will buy you more time, and let the other person think that you have an expert someone to talk to before deciding.
  • Even if it is difficult, try to walk away, acting like you are not interested. This will help the other person decide rather quickly, especially if he is impressed with you and does not want to lose you.
  • Be prepared. This in itself can pave the way for excellent negotiation skills, and when you know what you want, what you wouldn’t mind giving up, and what you would eventually settle for, it is a matter of ease to negotiate for the best deal.


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