We may now live in a tech-driven, fast paced digital business environment but the ability to negotiate is an art that continues to add great value. Negotiation has an impact on everything, from the employment deal that you get as an individual through to what you can achieve for the business or a specific client. One study found that UK businesses lose £9 million per hour from poor negotiating skills, so being an effective negotiator is something that most employers value highly.
Essential negotiation skills
If you understand what you’re trying to achieve – and why – then it’s much easier to walk into a negotiation and be confident. With a confident approach you’ll be more persuasive, less easily swayed and more able to get the results that you’re hoping for. A confident negotiator is far more likely to be successful than someone who isn’t quite sure what their end goal is or whether it’s really worth achieving.
Being able to create a mutually beneficial situation
The very best negotiators know how to come out of a discussion making all parties feel like they have won something. Although the popular idea of being effective at negotiation is to wipe the floor with an opponent, in reality this can shut down the potential for future ongoing relationships. Aggression and a refusal to compromise are not effective negotiation tools – it’s the ability to make everyone happy while a achieving a goal that is so prized.
Looking beyond traditional negotiation situations
While there are some obvious scenarios in which negotiation is essential – in deals on behalf of clients, for example – the true art of negotiation is to be able to apply it to a much wider range of situations. Great negotiation involves clear communication, which is essential in many workplace situations, whether you’re carrying out a management role or helping to set the ground rules for what is expected of a new hire. Listening is another key negotiation skill that goes beyond the boardroom, as is the ability to find resolution where two views are at loggerheads.
Applying the impact of negotiation to the bottom line
Negotiation does not happen in isolation – if you’re able to strike a great deal with suppliers or new clients it’s important to understand how this will directly impact the financials of the business. Part of being a great negotiator is being able to see how what you achieve in discussions will have a wider ranging financial impact.
It may be easy to lose sight of the need for respect in the heat of the moment at the negotiating table. However, remember that it’s important those you’re speaking to walk away with a positive impression of you or they won’t want to deal with you again. Be firm, stand your ground when necessary but don’t add bullying and aggression to your negotiation skill set if you want to be really effective.
Being a great negotiator is a key skill that can be learned. Once you’ve mastered it you’ll be an invaluable asset to any employer. Sign up for our Negotiation Skills Course today to find out more.