Negotiating is an important skill to learn when starting a career in business and is covered by every traditional and top online business degree program in the country. Many people can stigmatised the practice, assuming it must involve taking a hard line and never backing down. However, nothing could be more rigid or further from the truth. While there certainly is a place for standing one’s ground, great negotiators also need to have great communications and interpersonal skills.
Before a successful business negotiation can take place, you need to do your research. If you don’t know all the facts that support your position, you are unlikely to get a fair takeaway. For example, an article for the Washington Post about salary negotiations suggested that an individual do significant research into the average salaries for the type of position available, the size of the company that is offering the job, and so on. In this way, you can go into the negotiation armed with the knowledge necessary to succeed. Without this knowledge, you may lowball yourself, and not get paid what you are worth, or you may demand so much money that you may disqualify yourself before you even sit down. But if you know what is fair and reasonable, you can negotiate from a position of strength.
Additionally, according to an article in Inc. magazine, it pays to stay calm during a negotiation. This is where great communications skills and a little bit of acting come into play. If you are able to make the other side feel as though you have control over your emotions and you are able to talk with them comfortably and without getting flustered, you will have an advantage. This is because the other side will feel that pressuring or hardball tactics won’t work. Also, when in negotiations, you should never state that you’re “almost done.” This indicates that you are exhausted with the process and ready to throw in the towel. The other side will seize on this in order to extract concessions you ordinarily wouldn’t make. Therefore, no matter how exhausted you may be with the process, remain cheerful, calm and polite. Act as though you could continue negotiating for days, and let the other side sweat.
If you stand your ground in a negotiation, do so calmly and politely. And if you need to concede, do so only after you’ve done all your research, so that you know that you are making a reasonable concession. Tact, awareness, and diplomacy can make long-term connections with the people on the far side of the conference table, and those connections can be worth more than the deal, itself. If you practice conducting thorough research, staying calm, and holding your ground politely, you’ll be ahead of the game.
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