Prepare: If you enter a negotiation process without properly preparing for it, then you’ve already lost before the discussion has even begun. If you are entering into a salary negotiation to haggle price, for example, you need to know how much the industry standards are for your particular position. You have to understand the market, as well as the needs, strengths, and weaknesses of the other side.

Listen: Although this sounds simple, listening is still one of the most effective negotiation techniques. Talking ceaselessly will not help you get what you want out of a deal. And on top, you may just end up saying something you’ll regret later on. Never interrupt someone who is speaking, and encourage others to talk first. The best negotiators tend to be great listeners.

Treat everyone with respect and keep your emotions in check: No negotiation process is worth sacrificing relationships or burning bridges. It is absolutely crucial that you treat all parties with respect, and that you leave emotions off the table as much as possible. If the situation turns too heated, agree to take a break, and recommence again when you’ve considered other possible solutions.

Choose your wording wisely: Another negotiation tip is to avoid using “I” when negotiating, and instead, use “we”. Your choice of words can quickly signpost whether you’re exclusively looking for your own interests or are actually wanting to make the discussion a two-way effort.

Timing is everything: This is one of the most important negotiation tactics to master. While you evidently know what you want to get out of a discussion, it is similarly important to know when to ask for it. To learn how to negotiate effectively, you need to comprehend when to be quiet and wait for the other party to make the next move.

Ask about the alternatives: If a negotiation doesn’t seem to be heading in the direction you’d like it to, don’t end the conversation just yet. It is an effective negotiation technique to ask about any alternative options, and you may just come across a better solution that you wouldn’t have even considered before.

Avoid ultimatums: When learning how to negotiate, it’s important to avoid proposing ultimatums as a bargaining tactic. Making unseemly demands and offering a take-it-or-leave-it approach is a negotiation trick that is unlikely to get you very far.

Always have an exit strategy: If you aren’t quite ready to decide and need some time to think things over, use a virtual person who isn’t present at the negotiation process as an excuse. Tell the other party that you first need to run the details via your spouse, attorney, or a business partner, and that you’ll be back in touch.

Stay true to your own values: People with good negotiation skills tend to only do things they are comfortable with. Don’t try out negotiation tactics that are so entirely out of character, since others may see right through you. When encountering deals in which you are asked to compromise your values, always don’t forget to stay true to your principles, and learn to walk away from negotiations that cross boundaries you shouldn’t be crossing.

Don’t move too fast: Whilst there are a lot of good negotiation tips to help you become an advanced negotiator, it’s virtually impossible to remember everything. To make things a little easier, try out one negotiation trick or tactic at a time in various situations.

Martin P R Collins is a negotiation expert at Geneva Education who frequently gives very useful advice in his articles and blog posts. Look here to learn his 20 most effective negotiation tactics. Or visit Geneva Education on LinkedIn for more negotiation tactics to haggle price.



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