Negotiating Skills

Introduction:

Negotiation involves two or more parties, who each have something the other wants, reaching an agreement through a process of bargaining. This section explains the principle of this exchange and gives you the confidence and skills to conduct negotiations and achieve a mutually acceptable outcome. Designed for easy access to relevant information, and including practical tips, this section covers the whole process of negotiation, form preparation of closing a deal, and is suitable for novice and seasoned negotiators alike. It includes essential advice on devising a strategy, how to make concessions, what to do when negotiations breaks down, and how to make use of third parties to resolve dead lock and conflict.

This month we will cover:

1) Preparing For A Negotiation

To negotiate successfully you need a game plan – your ultimate aim and strategy for achieving it. Prepare thoroughly before a negotiation to facilitate the success of your game plan.

1) Defining Negotiation

Negotiation occurs when someone else has what you want and you are prepared to bargain for it – and vice versa. Negotiations takes take place every day between family members, with shopkeepers, and almost continuously – in the workplace.

A) Understanding The Principals

Successful negotiating – an attempt by two people to achieve a mutually acceptable solution – should not result in a winner and a looser. It is a process that ends either with a satisfying conclusion for both sides (win/win), or with failure – for both sides (lose/lose). The art of negotiation is based on attempting to reconcile what constitutes a good result for you and what constitutes a good result for the other party. To achieve a situation where both sides win something for themselves, you need to be well prepared, alert, and flexible.

Note:

To become a good negotiator, learn to “read” the other party’s needs.

Bear in mind that it is almost impossible for a negotiator to do too much preparation.

B) Recognizing The Skills

Negotiation is a skill that any one can learn, and there are plenty of opportunities to practice it once learned. The core skill required for successful negotiations include:

The ability to define a range of objectives, yet be flexible about some of them;

The ability to explore the possibilities of a wide range of options;

The ability to prepare well;

Interactive competence, that is, being able to listen to and question other parties;

The ability to prioritize clearly.

These proficiencies are useful in every day life as well as in negotiations. By taking the time you learn them, you will be able to enhance more than just your bargaining abilities.

Studying Negotiation

At the start of a commercial negotiation, two teams face each other around a table. Note how each team member’s body language is supportive of their partner.

Note:

Start by visualizing possible gains not losses

Practice negotiating to improve upon your skills

C) Categorizing Types

Different negotiation types require different skills. In business and commerce, each instance of negotiation displays certain characteristic. It may be formal or informal, ongoing or a one-off, depending on who is negotiating for what. The parties involved in a business – such as employees, shareholders, trade unions, management, suppliers, customers, and the government – all have different interests and individual points of view. Whichever groups you belong to, you need to reconcile such differences through negotiation: for example share holders negotiate with boards of directors over come strategy, unions negotiate with employers over pay and conditions, and governments negotiate with accountants over taxation.

Note:

Be prepared to compromise when you negotiate

Determine your Strategy according to the type of negotiation

D) Appointing Agents

John F. Kennedy, Us President, once said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear; but let us never fear to negotiate”

In reality, of course, you may be reluctant to negotiate because you are afraid of an unfamiliar process. If this is the case you can find some one to negotiate for you. Such people are known as “agents”, and they can be assigned as much or as little responsibility as you, the “principal” who employs them, which to give them in a give negotiation. However, you should always clearly layout the full extent of that responsibility in advance of the negotiation.

Some common examples of agents include trade union members, who negotiate as agents on behalf of employees, and lawyers, who often negotiate as agents on behalf all types of stakeholder in an organization, including management, shareholders, and customers.

Note:

Define an agent’s responsibilities very clearly

Points To Remember

When negotiating, you need to know where you are prepared to give ground – or not

A matter under negotiation may be intangible, and therefore must be defined before negotiation can proceed

Negotiation implies that you are willing to compromise on the issue under discussion

Anything that applies to you as a negotiator applies to the other person with whom you are negotiating

Negotiating Informally In Daily Life

Domestic situation often involves negotiation. For example, you may agree to take your neighbor’s children to school every Monday and Thursday if they take yours on Tuesday and Friday, and you each alternate Wednesdays. On occasion, negotiated terms may need to be renegotiated. For example, you may have negotiated a price for one vase in a bazaar, but if you buy more than one vase, you should be in the position to renegotiate for a lower price in the first vase. When putting an offer on a house, you may have to raise your offer and renegotiate terms if someone else is interested.

Negotiating With An Agent

If you are considering buying a house, you will need to discuss terms and conditions of the purchase with an agent, who represents the needs of the vendor.

How to Get Christmas Presents for Geeks?

If you’re not much of a technology enthusiast yourself, this part of your Christmas shopping may be a bit intimidating. Particularly if the nerd we are speaking about is someone special in your life, and it is very important than he gets a nice surprise. You know you can’t go for a bottle of cologne or a sweater – they’d probably feel just like you would if you received a pair of socks for Christmas. You may have a sort of vague idea that you should get a gadget or something. But how can you decide what to choose? What if it’s out-of-date, or they already have it, or it’s made by a company they despise?

First of all, here are some tips about gift shopping in general. If you want to make it special, you must get outside of your regular mindset. Try to put yourself in his shoes. Write down everything you know about what he loves: any special hobbies, tech companies that he likes and dislikes, what he is working on, gadgets that he has, computer games that he has, movies he has a special interest in… and basically everything that you know about his possessions and interests. Pay increased attention of the things that he already owns – you don’t want to go buying the exact same stuff. Also, listen to him when he’s talking about tech things for a few weeks, even if you do not really care – they are a good source of information.

The list might have helped you narrow things down a bit, but how do you go about actually picking the specific item? If you decide to purchase a computer game, for instance, how do you go about picking one if you don’t play PC games yourself? One thing you can do is to try reading online reviews about the latest releases. But then people have different tastes – even if you get a new, very popular one, how do you know he will like it? A straightforward solution is to speak to one of his friends if you could. If not, maybe you have a friend who plays computer games and can help you out.

Geeky toys could be a good idea – they are fun to have and not exactly something you would go buy for yourself. Your selection here is fairly wide – from walkie bits to tiny finger drums. It’s all about how much thought and imagination you put into it. In the same area, collectibles make a great present for someone who is very passionate about a particular movie or book.

If it’s a geek who also enjoys to dress up and look respectable, you could choose a designer notebook bag. Certainly, he already has one, but maybe it is just a regular bag. The advantage here is that you don’t need much technical expertise to choose a great model. You only need to know his laptop dimensions.

Books are an often ignored gift idea. Nonetheless, it’s something you can’t go wrong with if you choose carefully. You can either choose a novel or a specialty book. If he is into fantasy, for example, you might choose a good fantasy book. Even if you don’t read them, there are plenty of reviews available online. A specialty book is great if he just began learning some new programming language and is very passionate about it.

Finally, geeky T-shirts (that those with Pi-day or the caffeine molecule) are generally a safe choice. Also, if he is very enthusiastic about a new gadget that he got, you may always buy some accessories for that. Speaking of gadgets – if you want to buy that, make sure you choose the latest version of anything. Having the latest updates of everything is part of what makes you a geek.

Now many of the ideas you might have can be on the higher-end price segment. The good news is that you can always find discounts if you know where to look. United Tech Store is the one-stop-shop for all geeky things. You can find everything here, from books to the latest Xbox 360 accessories. This is not an online store, but a comparison shopping engine focused on technology. This means it brings together products from several online stores, so that you get the best deals for the things you want to buy. You may also use it as a source of inspiration if you are still unsure – it has lots of product reviews, a tech news section, and a blog section focused on technology.

Effective Negotiations

In business, effective negotiation skills are of paramount importance. Whether closing the deal, haggling over the price of a supplies agreement, or handling a pay raise conversation with a valued employee, a business owner relies on these skills for a robust bottom line. While you may already be an effective negotiator, you may want to consider some strategies that can help you maximize the chances of achieving the results you desire in business negotiations.

A truly effective negotiator seeks to arrive at mutually beneficial conclusions. Those entering negotiations are each seeking value that wasn’t there previously. To ensure successful negotiations, it is imperative to offer that value to the other party. Don’t ignore your own self-interest, but enter the discussion having first closely considered what may be needed or sought by the other party. If you initially reflect on upon partner’s priorities, it is much more likely that negotiations will work well.

Prior to bargaining on an important deal, be prepared. For example, if you are preparing to offer your product at a certain price level, be prepared to demonstrate commensurate value by offering testimonials about the quality of the your product, and its worth relative to like products in the marketplace, as well as offering information about the price of similar products sold through your competitors. Consider role-play practicing your sales presentation with a colleague, being sure to seek input on how to can improve your skills and approach.

It is wise to learn as much as possible about your negotiation counterpart prior to reaching the bargaining table. This will help you tailor your offer to meet the unique needs of your customer. For many in sales, it is all too easy to allow a sales call to proceed by rote, underscoring to potential customers that the negotiator has not considered their specific needs. Through the sales discussion, it is important to demonstrate that there has been much thought put into marrying product and service features with the needs of the prospect.

As a customer, you will be able to contribute strongly to your company’s bottom line using effective negotiations. First, arm yourself with information about the product or service you are considering. Having done your research on competitor’s prices and offerings will allow you to ask more pointed questions to gave value for your dollar. Be cognizant of the target price you seek, and the amount to which you would consider drifting from that price in exchange for further value, such as free delivery, or a discount based upon volume purchases.

Pay close attention to what your negotiating counterpart is asking for, and consider what flexibility you can offer to achieve a win-win scenario. As with any purchase, don’t feel rushed or pressured. Reserve the right to seek more time to consider any new requests or demands for concessions before you actually come to a final agreement.

In some cases, what you are negotiating may be quite large and have additional layers of complexity. If this is the case, be on the lookout for any hidden agenda, remind yourself of your objective, and postpone further negotiations as soon as you encounter something do not understand. On the other side of the equation, don’t unduly pressure your prospects to make an on-the-spot decision if they don’t understand. Bygone high-pressure sales tactics are short sighted, sacrificing the long-term profitable relationship on the altar of the immediate sale. At risk is could be your reputation within the business community.

Of course, some negotiations end with neither party being willing to offer further flexibility. Don’t burn your bridges! Remain genteel and respectful. Let your counterpart know you appreciate the time invested so far. Use this as a stepping-stone to building a relationship that could yield fruit down the road.