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In business, you are regularly presented with situations where you need to negotiate. The situations could be informal day to day interactions or formal client/supplier interactions. Effective negotiation requires a combination of interpersonal and communication skills. Having the ability to negotiate can have a positive impact on the growth of the business.
If you are attending a meeting that is likely to involve negotiation, take time to prepare. Think about what your ideal outcome would be and areas you are willing to compromise on. Take time to research the firm and individual you are meeting. Use the company website and Linkedin page to find information. Review the firms competitors and their offerings. How do they compare to what you are being offered?
Skilled negotiators are active listeners. They have the ability to read and respond to body language and verbal communication effectively. You need to listen to better understand the other party’s limitations and flexibilities. Refrain from controlling the conversation. If you have a question wait till there is a break in the conversation to ask, avoid interrupting.
If the terms don’t meet your needs and (realistic) expectations walk away. Don’t settle. You don’t want to be locked into exclusive negotiations, so make sure you correspond with multiple suppliers. If a client is demanding too much for the price, let them know. Try offering different solutions to their problem and try and come to a compromise.
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