When people are asked what negotiation is, they would immediately say, “win-win”. But win-win is not the definition of negotiation, it is its goal. So yes, the purpose of negotiation is to give both parties the chance to lobby their proposals and all end-up winners at the end of the negotiation process. A good business person will tell you that negotiation is not a chance for you to hustle or low-ball other people. When you have this in mind from the get-go, your reputation will be negatively affected in the long run. Ultimately, your business will suffer too.
Before you start the negotiation process, it’s important that you have a good plan. This will serve as your road map that will help you successfully arrive at your destination. It basically gives you an idea about the best ways to achieve your goal.
The win-win agreement
Like I’ve said, this is the ultimate goal of negotiation-a win-win agreement. In order for you to achieve this, a good plan is needed. The plan should include the strategies and tactics that you’ll employ in order for you to achieve your goal.
To be clearer about what you need to do before you enter into any type of negotiation, here are 4 steps that will serve as your guideline:
1. You need to define your goals and objectives – by setting your goals and objectives, you’ll be constantly reminded why you’re negotiating in the first place. You’ll be able to design good strategies and tactics that are relevant to these goals and that will help you achieve them.
There are many people who don’t do this that’s why they get lost during the process of negotiation and end-up at the losing end.
2. Learn more about the business or the person that you’re going to negotiate with. Don’t forget to include the market and the competition. You have to cover your bases.
3. Identify the strategies that you’ll employ.
4. Identify the tactics that you’ll employ – if you have plan A, have plan B and plan C as well.
Here are more tips on how to negotiation:
1. Focus on the problem – you don’t want to go personal with the people you’re dealing with. The best way to get a win-win agreement is to focus on the problem at hand and not at the people you’re dealing with. By doing this, you’re able to do business with them without ruining your relationship with the other party.
2. Understand their motive or bargaining position – Do they have a hidden agenda? Sometimes, you have to go beyond what you hear. Try to analyze things.
3. Alternatives – if you can’t agree on the initial proposal, try to think about other options that are amenable to both parties.