Reaching a consensus is not always easy. Any effective negotiation usually stems from a solid place of offering the value and subsequent worth of anything you negotiating over, whether it’s an object, a solution, or, in the case of job interviews, yourself. It’s even more effective if you already have an advantage, or you can quickly create one. So, let’s find out how to begin negotiating with an upper hand.
There are a few essential elements to consider if you want to have a head start.
Be careful not to give off the impression that you are confused, anxious, or lacking in knowledge and expertise. It may result in your opponent taking charge, and you lose an advantage from the start. Radiate confidence even if you’re hesitant.
Clearly setting the goals will provide a level of transparency and help you differentiate the imperative discussion from the irrelevant chatter you might distract yourself with along the way.
A thorough and carefully constructed plan will help you control the situation and steer away from confusion if you or the other party suddenly deviate from the initial instructions. Make sure your plan accommodates anything out of the ordinary, so it doesn’t startle you.
Your attitude can shape the way your negotiating process goes without you even knowing it. A slight shift in tone, your choice of words, your mood at that moment, and your overall demeanor can create an unconscious change of perception and may ruin your chances at a positive outcome.
Try to begin negotiations only when the other party has to make a decision and it must be made over a short period of time. Avoid dragging the issue – if your opponent is under a deadline or a more strict timing constraint than they used to, they’ll be relieved to close the deal even with compromise.
Do Your Research
Information is crucial in negotiations. Try not to assume anything about the other party. Assuming or having a downright bias can make you underestimate your opponents and make them hesitant about your intentions and displeased at your lack of awareness.
Gather everything you can about the person or people you are going to be dealing with – from social media, testimonials from clients, your mutual acquaintances, competitors and employee statements, written articles, or any other resource Internet has to offer.
Make your proposal already knowing the weakest and the strongest points of your opponent. Discover the interests, goals, points of view and motivations of other members of the negotiation. By knowing what makes your opponent tick, you can create a proposal even more appealing.
Even the obvious advantages and a certain head start won’t absolutely guarantee the desired outcome. There are still numerous elements that could go not how you would normally expect. Here are a few more tips to ensure a successful negotiating process:
- Develop a more personal connection – a more profound and even subjective understanding of the subject of the negotiation and the other party will help you create a mutually beneficial deal;
- Work on your mindset – negotiation is not a fight but a place for teamwork and problem-solving. If you go in preparing for a clash, you’ll probably receive one and won’t get much done.
- Prepare for the worst – while expecting the best is required, you still have to devise a plan for any possible outcome. That way, even if things don’t go your way, you won’t be caught off guard;
- Aim much higher than you initially want to bargain for – when you do get it your way, it will feel like a mutual compromise for the other party, and therefore, a much more acceptable result of the deal;
- Share information – withholding pieces of crucial information can jeopardize the future deal altogether and ruin the trust between all members of the negotiation.
If you want to successfully conduct negotiations at business meetings, politics, interviews, or even in personal situations, having an advantage is a way to go. Among the most important steps to obtain that advantage are: setting clear goals and objectives, doing in-depth research, monitoring your attitude, and having a plan even if you plunge into the unexpected.