Negotiations Training Lesson 1: Do more research than your counterpart. There is no such thing as useless information and by searching press releases, forums, annual reports and news channels you will discover some excellent information. All this information can be turned into questions which might begin, "According to your annual report....", "A recent report suggests that your new product may not be selling as well as expected, how is this affecting...?", "In forum X, we found evidence that your clients are not always totally satisfied with your service, what are you doing about this?" Such information will show you to be thorough in your preparation and a top notch negotiator.
Negotiations Training Lesson 2: If you..., then I. Always phrase your proposals in this manner. If you turn it round to "If we do X" first, then you are forced to ask the question "will you do Y". This is not good. You've let them know that you're prepared to do X and all they have to do is beat you down on Y. "If you do X for us, then we will do Y for you"
Negotiations Training Lesson 3: Learn to walk away. It's a difficult skill to learn because you often get caught up in the heat of the process. By considering and building your best alternative (BATNA), you'll know if and when to walk away. Often it's for the best.
Negotiations Training Lesson 4: Value is subjective. Your opinion of what is of value is practically irrelevant, it's what the client perceives that's most important. Only the person paying for the product or service, or making the concession is allowed to determine what is of value and what is not. That's why preparation and questioning is critical. Don't tell, ask. Don't assume anything, you could talk yourself out of a deal.
Negotiations Training Lesson 5: Every "no" can become a "maybe", and all "maybes" can become a "yes". The universal law is that everything is negotiable. If you master the art of linking issues, you will always be able to get what is important to you. Everything has its 'price'.
Negotiations Training Lesson 6: The 80/20 Law. You should try to spend as near as possible to 20% of the time actually talking and 80% listening. The party who asks the questions is leading and controlling the process. That's why you need to have all your questions prepared in advance and get your counterpart to do as much of the talking as possible.
Negotiations Training Lesson 7: Learn to shut your mouth. Goes hand in hand with rule 6, but also when you're offered something good, don't let on, just take it and move on.
Negotiations Training Lesson 8: Don't keep score on unimportant issues. It's critical that you don't let personalities sway your judgment. As Harvard said, " Separate the people from the issue". Don't let it turn into a battle of wills. Be hard on the issues and soft on the people. Everybody has the right to perceive a situation however they wish, there is no right and wrong.
Negotiations Training Lesson 9: Always get agreement first. Everything is of greatest value before the service is delivered, therefore you must get agreement before you deliver. Although reciprocity is a very powerful emotion, it's important that your counterpart understands and agrees to what must be done in return. Never give anything for nothing, it's a bad habit and exposes you to being disappointed.
Negotiations Training Lesson 10: Learn the art of collaboration. There are 5 negotiating styles; namely 'accommodating' where you give what they want, 'compromising' or splitting the difference, 'avoiding' where you put off entering the process, 'competitive' where you see it as 'they must lose if I'm to win' and finally 'collaboration'. Collaborative negotiation is quite simply the only way to go if you want the best deal possible. This involves working together to uncover what is of most importance to each party and finding a way to give. Always try to give them what they want, but on your terms.