Setting up a business deal requires time, patience and some steady nerves. Perhaps you’re talking with a client about establishing — or expanding — your services at their firm. Perhaps you’re sitting down with fellow partners, trying to chart a course for the business. Everyone has ideas. Everyone has wants. You just need to negotiate.

1.Face, And Clear Away, Any Personal Baggage

The late Jim Camp, author of Start with No, taught me that one of the steps in negotiation that’s often missed is to face and clear any personal baggage that we have when we come to the table. We often have hidden agendas that need to come out into the open before we can make progress.

2. Identify Your End Goal

Get clear on what you want to accomplish throughout the negotiation process and your desired outcome. Do you want a win-win outcome? A collaborative process? What about your end goal? Is it negotiable? How so? The more clear you are in the beginning, the easier it is to negotiate not only for what you want, but also you’ll be able to list out the facts to support it.

3. Build Trust

Trust is a critical foundation of any successful relationship. Negotiations start well before you even meet at the table for the discussion. Build credibility, act honestly and show genuine interest with others. This will create more opportunities for the desired result for both parties.

4. Develop Your Perception And Persuasion Skills

Effective negotiation involves a blend of communication and persuasion skills. You can’t negotiate if you don’t know how to persuade. Persuading involves being able to influence others to achieve your goal. You need high levels of perception and good influencing skills to negotiate successfully.

5. Listen Carefully, Then Restate The Points

The more effectively you can listen with optimism, the greater your opportunity for success in a negotiation. Hear your counterpart without interruption. Be aware of emotions, body language, and tone of voice to get the full picture. Then restate their key points to their satisfaction before making your own. It’s not a competition against them: It’s an opportunity for you to both get what you want.

6. Find The Core Value That You Can Align Towards

In negotiations, you want everyone at the table to leave feeling like they got what they wanted. You don’t have to agree on everything — in fact, many solid partnerships and relationships thrive on an appreciation of each others’ differences. Find the core value that you can align towards, and work out the details once you find the outcome that serves everyone best.


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