Everything Is Negotiable + Practical Tips
Making deals, ironing out contracts, and deciding on party benefits are an important part of the job if you are involved in any sort of business. The problem is most people just aren’t that good at it. They’re too timid, make too many concessions, or feel unconfident in what they’re proposing. Clearly this isn’t good, but not just because it can impact this negotiation. It can also affect ones further down the road and hinder your ability to make the deals you need. The key to solving these issues: recognize that everything is negotiable. How does that work? Keep reading to find out.
Negotiation is Assumed
People who are nervous about negotiations forget that the other party (or parties) involved are just like them. You have a lot you want to achieve. You’re also probably very aware of the fact that it’ll take a while to get there and that compromise will have to happen at some point on both sides. After all, deals would never be made if only one side benefitted. The others you’re dealing with understand all this too and have their own agenda in mind. So, negotiation is already assumed before you even walk into the boardroom. Nobody is under any false impression that they’ll get what they want just by asking. It’ll take wheeling and dealing, and your approach to negotiation process management should reflect that.
Firstly, you should never take the first deal given to you. This is in part because your counterpart doesn’t expect you to take it. They know there needs to be actual negotiation and will likely offer something outrageous at the beginning, because it will function as a starting point. It’ll help establish their most favorable outcome and establish some of their biggest values. It’ll also help you reconsider the value of your proposition, so a favorable conclusion can be reached later down the line without too few or too many concessions. Utilize this tactic for yourself. Without it, you and the other party are not on an even playing field. When you are, you can negotiate anything.
Emotional Intelligence Matters
Know how else you can truly negotiate anything and everything? By using emotional intelligence. We’ve talked about it before, but we can’t stress how important it is to any business or contract negotiations. You need it to understand what you’re after, what your counterpart is after, how to manage or stop emotional outbursts, and how to come to a mutually beneficial solution. Without emotional intelligence, you also can’t fully engage in discussions and you’ll never build a sold rapport with your new potential partner. In other words, negotiations just wouldn’t work without it. By embracing it and working on your self-awareness, empathy, self-regulation, and social skills, you’ll be able to negotiate even in some of the worst conditions. Just ensure you’re not making too many sacrifices. There’s a difference between working with the other side and just handing them everything. Empathy and cooperation are good, but blind goodwill will just hurt you in the end. It will help them take advantage of you. Don’t give them the power to do this. Be understanding but be firm.
Practical Tips to Negotiating
Beyond assuming that everything is negotiable and beyond using emotional intelligence, what else can you put into practice to actually be able to negotiate anything? Well, one of the biggest is to start properly using the word “if.” When making deals, concessions are inevitable, but many bad at negotiating make them without asking for much in return. You don’t need to do this. By using “if,” you turn this on its head. You become willing to give something, but it requires getting something. Usually, the other party will accept because it furthers their agenda while also being fair. Better deals are a natural result. On top of this, you should also:
Know you have power – Yes, buyers have a lot of this, but so do you. If you don’t agree with what’s happening, the buyer can’t actually buy.
Change your offer, not price – If the other party isn’t willing to pay, then don’t offer a lower price. Settling only hurts you.
Ask questions – If the other party turns down a reasonable offer, ask why. If they don’t like a price, ask why. Clarifying things can give you leverage for the things you want and also benefit the other, so you know what’s important to them.
Be respectful – Threats, intimidation tactics, and bullying are not okay, even in business deals. It’s wrong, and it’s also bad for negotiating. It’ll likely get you nowhere. Respect and courtesy works much better.
Intellext is an AI startup that is revolutionizing the way contracts are negotiated, accelerating time to close, and improving deal terms. Intellext’s Intelligent Negotiation Platform™ eliminates the complexities of contract redlines and stakeholder collaboration and optimizes deal terms by applying machine learning during the negotiation process.