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The Twelve Basic Principles Of Negotiation - Numbers 7 to 12
This is the second article in a two part series on the principles of negotiation. If you don't have access to the first part article then you will find it on my blog.
7. Use your strengths and manage your weaknesses
In every negotiation each party has strengths and weaknesses. If one party held all the cards then it would not be a negotiation, they would simply be dictating the terms.
Be aware of your strengths and how you can best use them and be aware of your weaknesses and know how to manage them. Part of managing your weaknesses is to disguise them as strengths wherever possible.
Strength in a negotiation comes from things like willingness to walk away, low perceived need, no or low time constraints or having something that the other party needs but can't easily get elsewhere.
Weakness comes from strong need for what the other party is offering, short time constraints, or low need on the part of the other party.
8. Respond rather than react
A reaction implies that it is a reflex and doesn't involve thought or strategy. Skilled negotiators try to get their opponents reacting.
Responding on the other hand is keeping your control and not doing anything that is not a thoughtful application of your strategy.
If you have the habit of reacting then it is very easy for a skilled negotiator to manipulate you during the negotiation.
9. Attract rather than chase
It is very difficult for you to win a negotiation if you are doing the chasing. The idea is to make your proposals in such a way that they draw the other party toward your desired result. This is achieved by a combination of having a good offer and presenting it with good negotiation skills.
10. Break complicated issues into simple elements and then negotiate the elements.
The human brain can only process so much information in one bite. If you are involved in a complex negotiation it will be better to break it down into several components and negotiate them as separate issues.
Some negotiators have, as a strength, the ability to mentally hold large amounts of information and they will try to keep the negotiation complicated. If this is not your strength then don't fall into this trap.
11. Know when to negotiate concepts and when to negotiate details
There are times when the details are extremely important but there are other times when they are just a distraction. Develop the skill of being able to see the difference.
It also may be a good strategy in many negotiations to gain agreement on a general concept first and then move on to negotiate the details.
12. Have a system to look after the details
Negotiations by their nature are generally verbal. Once the negotiation is over it is important to get the agreement into writing and signed as soon as possible.
The simplest way to achieve this is to already have a system in place, before the negotiation even starts. For a salesman this could be accomplished by having an official order form. For a complicated big business negotiation it may mean handing over to your legal department.
Keep in mind that the longer the time between the negotiation and the signing of the formal agreement the more likely it will be that the negotiation will reopen.
Negotiation is not a skill that you can master in five minutes, but these twelve basic principles are a good place to start.
About the Author: James Delrojo would like to help you by giving you his
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