The Art of Negotiation - What Does This Mean?Negotiation is something that is important across all industries and in all positions. It is an important skill to possess both in business and in your personal life as well. Being good at it is an art form, something you will only get better at and more comfortable doing the more you practice. Negotiation often has a negative connotation and many people, if asked, would say they don't like doing it. It brings to mind a pushy used car dealer or having to fight to get what you want. A LinkedIn survey found that over 40% of U.S. employees don’t feel confident negotiating, and 25% said they have never negotiated at all in the workplace.
But the experience doesn't have to be negative at all, and can give a competitive advantage to your business if done correctly. If you take a step back and think about why you are negotiating in the first place and what the purpose is behind it, it may be easier for you to perfect this often difficult skill set.
Why Do Negotiation Skills Matter?Negotiation skills are important for a variety of different reasons, one being that good negotiations build quality solutions and quality solutions help improve your business. Helping our partners improve their business is something that is very important to us at OpenEdge. We strive to be not just a payments partner but a partner helping ISVs to grow their business and generate more revenue. We hope that sharing these insights into the art of negotiation - whether that is in the selling environment, the service environment or just in working with each other - will be a beneficial resource for you to refer back to the next time you are faced with negotiations, helping you to improve how you conduct business.
Who Negotiates in Business?Everyone in your organization is probably involved in negotiations whether you realize it or not. You're involved in one when you deal with an upset customer, when you are working with a vendor on contract terms, when you are working internally to utilize resources, and many other times. Any time you are trying to get someone to do something or give you something, you are in a negotiation. Since everyone is involved in them at some point in time, we wanted to share a few tips we’ve found to make them successful and less stressful.
Skills to Improve Your Negotiation Strategies
Learn as much as you can - One of the most powerful things you can do to help you in negotiation preparation is to learn everything you can about the situation. This would include all of the facts about the situation, everything you and those on the other side have to gain/lose, and what happens if you don’t get an agreement. Good negotiations take a lot of prep work.
Remove emotion - Always keep in mind that you only have to deal with the facts of the situation. When you involve emotion, it is easy to lose perspective and make a bad decision or let ego get involved.
Have a back up plan - A common term in business is BATNA. This is your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. It is helpful to go into the discussion knowing what you’re going to do if it doesn’t work out. This creates less stress if things head in a direction you aren’t comfortable with and allows you to keep perspective.
Involve others - My best negotiations have always included me talking it through with others before I have the actual conversation. Other people help you see blind spots and help you come up with a course of action as well as the actual verbiage you want to use.
Be patient and confident - Once you’ve done the work, be patient with the negotiation process and confident in what you want.