One of the most important skills for the modern businessman is negotiation. Unfortunately, this is something that we can only really get better at by, well, negotiating. However, there are some things that you can do in order to improve business negotiation skills. Everything practically boils down to understanding everything associated with negotiation and trying to figure out what the other party wants or is willing to agree to.
The normal negotiation process involves 5 stages:
- Non-Agreement or Agreement
- Learning about the negotiation after it is over
Make sure that you never neglect the last stage mentioned. You want to analyze what happened so you can improve your negotiation results in the future.
Training Business Negotiation Skills
Business meeting success depends on many factors, ranging from business etiquette to the respected schedule. Things can always go wrong with any part of the meeting but when referring to negotiation, you want to train. You can obtain training from consultants and various online courses are available at the moment. Make sure that you choose an option that is backed by a true professional so that you can get really good training.
Understanding Company Expectations and Goals
In order to negotiate properly, you want to fully understand goals and expectations. A failure to know these things will lead towards negotiation failure as you will not be able to move towards the best possible result for what you represent. Always talk with senior management and lay out these goals and expectations before you go to any business meeting to negotiate anything.
Figuring Out a Suitable BATNA
In negotiation slang, BATNA stands for “best alternative to the negotiated agreement”. Understanding this allows a lot of power because the negotiator fully understands limits that appear and can use the goals and expectations in a proper way. You basically use BATNA whenever there is no agreement that can be negotiated. You use this as a way to measure the agreement. Always try to improve BATNA and use it in order to end up with an agreement that is not undervalued.
Always Keep Learning
The smart negotiator will NEVER stop learning. This is highly important. Simply because you had some great results in the past does not actually mean that in the future you will not end up making mistakes as new negotiation strategies are developed and the people that you negotiate with get stronger as they keep improving their skills.
Just as in any part of business, the negotiator needs to keep learning. A failure to do this can be truly destructive for the entire business.
Business negotiations are complicated, difficult to deal with and normally ruthless. Both sides want what is best for the represented company. In order to be a very good business negotiator, you want to do all that is necessary in order to gain an upper edge. This is something that is gained only through constant practice and knowledge. The more knowledge you have and the more you negotiate, even if it is just for practice, the higher the possibility of success.