Recently I visited a client who since the Queensland floods, was struggling to obtain raw materials and services that had been ordered previously. Apparently they were unable to expedite delivery due to a limited amount available since the floods. I then became involved and was able to organise a compromise which meant my client was able to finish their goods, invoice their customer without any major disruption.
How was that achieved? Simply by establishing some common ground and negotiating an alternative outcome. Too simple? Negotiation , by definition , means that you both will probably give something up to achieve a win - win outcome.
Unfortunately , while the art of negotiation is a relatively simple process , too few people allow egos and a lack of flexibility to dictate the terms. So how can you negotiate a successful outcome? Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful.
1. Commitment - both parties will always have a target in mind. Don't become egotistical - focus on how you can both come out ahead.
2. Consider everybody involved needs - well practiced negotiators send the message that they respect the other person's concerns. This will help temper egos and allow more flexibility.(after all their needs are just as important as your own !)
3. Establish the playing field - try to establish what their real needs are. What is their minimum price or objective? Many negotiators have successfully purchased items at a much lower than anticipated cost because they have done their homework .
4. Be open minded and flexible - again perhaps the potential seller or buyer isn't purely driven by price. Perhaps different payment terms are more of an attraction to them.
5.Bargain in an ethical way - don't start with an ridiculous offer asking for more than you expect, while you should allow some room for discussion , remember you may need his or her cooperation in the future , pave the way for future amicable discussions.
6. Ask for a deal - Negotiation in its very nature is a give and take approach. If you have something, ask for something in return , it maybe future business , a preferred supply agreement or whatever is beneficial.
Lastly, reiterate what you have agreed to ,make sure both parties are very clear of what you have agreed to. Make sure you part in a positive way so that any future negotiations or requests do not require a convoluted discussion. Remember while you might have a feeling of achievement when you successfully negotiate a new deal or price, while you have been negotiating you have not been selling or concentrating on your core business needs.