The long-term success of a business today is dependent on a wide range of internal and external factors. A large number of the factors influencing your success are within your control while others such as governmental policies and climatic conditions are not.
One of the best things you can do for your business to thrive in today’s economy is to invest in continuous professional training. Benjamin Franklin once said that if you empty the coins of your purse into your mind, your mind will fill your purse with coins. The improvement of your skills in areas such as project management, marketing, negotiation, sales, and others will help you serve your clients better and put you ahead of the competition.
The power of negotiation is arguably the most valuable skill to develop as you grow your company. Negotiation training is applicable in every sphere of life and has a strong bearing on your overall success both in and outside the office. While sales training teaches you how to convert prospects into sales, the best negotiation skills focus on sales conversions plus increasing your bottom line profit.
The advantages of developing your negotiation skills transcend the business world and are helpful when making friends, resolving conflicts, and making decisions. One of the easiest ways to become a better negotiator is to attend a comprehensive negotiations training course where you can pick up some of the following key skills.
How to develop a negotiation plan
One of the most famous books on strategy, ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu, argues that in a confrontational situation, victory normally belongs to the best-prepared party. Too many people go into a negotiation with the aim of winning at the expense of the other party. The best negotiators, however, seek a win-win situation, where both parties leave the table happy with the deal. In a negotiation class, you will learn how to develop a mutually beneficial agreement that can open the door for better business opportunities in the future.
To truly reach a mutually beneficial agreement in a negotiation, you need to plan the process from the start. An excellent negotiating training program will teach you how to set your goals and identify the areas where you can or cannot give concessions. You also learn how to determine what the other party wants and how to package it in a way that benefits both parties.
Adequate planning helps you to set boundaries in your negotiation process, such as how much time and money you can spend in preparing as well as negotiating the deal, and when to walk away. Your plan is instrumental in helping you make clear decisions during the negotiation and gives you the confidence to take action when the time to walk away comes. Without setting limits, seasoned negotiators can take advantage of the situation, leaving you with little value.
Your plan should include your BATNA or ‘Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement’. The BATNA refers to your plan of action if the negotiation doesn’t work out. The BATNA is a safety net that gives you comfort in the knowledge that this negotiation is not your only viable option.
The Art of Listening
For negotiators, every word counts. It is more important to listen than to speak. Negotiation is an information gathering exercise that allows you to sift through the spoken words, the tone of voice and body language of the other party to determine their goals. Developing your listening skills will help you to know whether you are winning or losing ground in the negotiation.
In a practical negotiation workshop, you will learn how to listen to and interpret non-verbal communication. In high tension situations such as a critical negotiation, people usually measure their words so as not to make a mistake. Seasoned negotiators know that when uncertainty abounds, more than 90% of communication can be non-verbal.
According to a study done by Dr. Albert Mehrabian of UCLA, spoken words only communicate 7% of the speaker’s intentions while the tone of voice and body language explain a full 93%.
Mastery of Negotiating Styles
There are five main negotiation styles which come into play when making deals. A well-structured negotiations training program usually teaches you how to handle each style.
While most people are inclined to use certain styles due to their temperaments and backgrounds, skilled negotiators can deliberately select a particular style based on the desired outcome of the negotiation. A well-trained negotiator can switch from one style to another depending on the situation, whereas most novices usually have a limited arsenal of one or two styles.
Mastery of all five negotiation styles will keep you a few steps ahead of the competition and enable you to much more skillfully steer your negotiation processes. Your unique skill set will give you a better chance of achieving your goals whenever you participate in negotiations.
The list below highlights each negotiating style and its primary purpose.
1. Competing – seeks maximum gain no matter the cost of loss to the other party (I win – You lose)
2. Collaborating – seeks to form a lasting cooperative agreement between parties where both sides create as much value as possible (I win – You win)
3. Compromising – seeks to balance concessions between parties (I lose/win some – You lose/win some)
4. Avoiding – seeks a solution that will end the confrontation at almost any cost (I lose – You lose)
5. Accommodating – willing to lose ground to benefit the relationship between the parties (I lose – You win)
Your success in business is largely determined by the kinds of deals you make. The ability to turn a negative situation into a win for your company requires a high level of negotiation skills. If you have a tight schedule, you can attend short negotiator seminars to build your negotiation capability.
Negotiation training can help you to develop your people skills, which can increase your credibility and cause people to trust you more. This comes in handy not only at the negotiation table but also in many areas of business. It becomes easier to acquire and retain customers in your business as well as negotiate prices that increase your profits without harming your clients.
In one-on-one negotiations, your skill set will help you to develop amicable agreements that are valuable to both parties, and thus secure sustainable collaborations that are beneficial to the long term success of your business.
An expert marketing advisor, Milena Gallo
brings many years of branding and digital marketing experience to The Negotiation Experts. She brews up
fresh content on a daily basis, cleverly crafting messaging that helps online
businesses reach new audiences. Strategically-minded, Milena diligently moves
growing businesses towards their marketing goals. When she isn’t online, Milena
pursues her passion for the environment, spending time in nature, planting
gardens, and supporting conservation and reforestation projects.