Making the most of any time spent out of the office, and ensuring the meetings you partake in are as effective as possible, involves the expert ability of negotiation, which can make the difference between triumph and disappointment with what you set out to achieve.
- Look, Listen & Learn: If you talk too much, you won’t learn anything. Be the investigator – ask lots of open ended questions. Allow the other party to talk; then all you have to do is sit back and take notes to help with your decision.
- Be assertive: Ask for exactly what you want. Differentiate being assertive and aggressive; it’s getting to the point more quickly and looking after your business needs. Challenging everything is fine too. We all know both parties need to negotiate to formulate a win/win situation; however there are scenarios when companies really are just looking for a higher ‘cut’ rather than a long term profitable partnership, so it’s best to challenge everything to ensure you are getting the very best deal.
- Preparation is king: Have you thought about everything you need before you enter the negotiation as well as what the other party may be looking for? You can’t possibly make accurate decisions without fully understanding both sides of the agenda.
- Convey optimism: Entering any negotiation is an exciting process, so it’s important to show that you’re excited and be positive about the transaction. People who are optimistic, usually achieve more by expecting more. Suppliers would ask for more than they expect to receive and buyers offer less than they are willing to give – that way everybody walks away happy with the end result.
- No need to rush: The best negotiators most likely own the distinctive patient gene. If you rush your meeting, planning or negotiation, this is when mistakes will be made. Be flexible with time and if any steps to the negotiation are hurried, concessions will be made and the deal left on the table.