The word NEGOTIATION is defined as follows:
A mutual discussion and arrangement of terms of a transaction or agreement; a discussion intended to produce an agreement; the activity or business of negotiating an agreement; coming to terms (Oxford Dictionary)
Today's definition of Negotiation is:
(BEST) A mutual discussion, transaction, or agreement, garnering you with as much of what you want(ed) while leaving the other person(s) feeling they got as much of what they wanted as well! That is why this is called The Art of Negotiation!
(2nd Best) A mutual discussion, transaction, or agreement, garnering you with as much of what you wanted, while leaving the other person(s) feeling they've lost a considerable amount, but to a better person/entity/player
Hint: they feel bad, but not bad enough not to have a cocktail with you at a later date, and discuss how you got the better of them.
(Not Good at ALL) A mutual discussion, transaction, or agreement, which may garner you all, some, or none of what you wanted, while creating an enemy of the other person(s), and a 99% chance of retribution in the future, and making it impossible for you to do business with them in the present!
So, how do you position yourself to achieve the Best results of your negotiations training efforts?
1. If at all possible, negotiate on your own turf!
2. If the above is not possible, try to manipulate the negotiations training to take place on neutral ground (especially a place that serves food)
Why? Because food makes everyone happy! Don't eat until you've gotten what you wanted! Why? Because food will make YOU happy too, and cause you to lose your edge!
3. If you have to meet on their territory be as prepared as possible because you are already at a disadvantage.
4. Don't appear anxious! Even if your innards are screaming, appear calm and collected at all costs. Smile when and where appropriate.
5. Know your prey!!!
I cannot express enough the importance of knowing who you will be negotiating with. You need to study them like a test. Know their likes and dislikes, how they've done business in the past, what their goals are, and their agenda; their negotiations training weak points and strong points, their vices and virtues, their soft spots (there's always at least one), and where their heart is (if they have one). If they care about themselves, or others, and who is their god (ie: power, notoriety, publicity, accolades, money).
How can you do this? Among other things, you may cultivate a relationship with their underlings like their secretary or administrative assistant. Don't ask personal questions that will make them uncomfortable. Tell them who you are, what your goal is (if possible), and ask their opinion on what you're trying to achieve, and what they think is the best method of achieving it. Does it fit into their boss's agenda/vision/goals?
Ask them what they think might be the best way to approach your negotiations training objective? You'd be surprised how many people are willing to help you if you simply ask! Most people overlook the secretary/ administrative assistant, or treat them rudely, or as a non-person. How stupid. You will never get to the boss without going through the secretary. (Oh yeah, if the secretary/administrative assistant hates you, you don't stand a chance). Don't be placating, or phony, people will pick up on that as well. Be sincere, honest, and genuine.
6. Resist the urge to engage your prey one on one until you are ready.
If it's someone you know already, just say "hi" and keep going! Why? Your prey will be sizing you up as prey, the same way you are sizing them up! The bigger the predator they are, the more dangerous position you put yourself in by trying to be cocky and show your hand too quickly.
7. Also, your prey may be "big game" which provides you with the advantage of being the underdog, meaning they have no expectation of you, or someone like you ever getting the advantage over them. This is considerably in your favor if you have patience. Thesecret to catching the prey without too much of a struggle on your part (if you watch the nature shows), is TIMING!
8. Consider all the angles. Take the time to project yourself into the situation from their prospective. Play Devil's Advocate. Ask all the questions you think they would ask you if the situation were reversed. Ask the hard questions that you don't have an answer for, and then get one! Consider the positives, and "what's in it for them" - there has to always be something in it for the other guy if you want your negotiation tactics to be considered art!
Replay the negotiations situation over and over (and over and over) in your head until you think you've covered every conceivable scenario, both good and bad, because there will always be something you've overlooked.
9. ASK them WHAT THEY WANT! The direct frontal approach can be extremely unnerving, and very effective.
10. Never lose your cool; you'll lose everything!
11. Never let how you really feel show on your face.
12. Once you've made your point(s), STOP TALKING! And no matter how long the silence is, don't be the first one to speak. The first one who speaks has already lost! (If there's food around, now is the time to put something in your mouth!)
13. Be gracious whether you win or lose! This is so important. How you do either will speak volumes of you as a person, a competitor, and as someone people may want to do business with in the future. It will establish areputation for you that will be either positive or negative. And even if you don't land the big game this time, according to how you played the game, the big game will have respect for you, and they will remember you believe it or not- which will come in handy in the future negotiation.
14. Winning what you want out of a negotiations should be a legitimate "best practice" to improve something somewhere, whether it's a good or service; working conditions, or method of delivery. You should keep in mind that "what goes around, comes around", so even though you may win today, you may be tomorrow's loser.