How to Negotiate successfully

Negotiate?  How would you define negotiation? What words come immediately to mind?
Immediately, one can consider words like bargain, alternative, propose, suggest, leverage, and several others. However, there’s a simple way of defining negotiation. According to Falcão, H. (2010), “Negotiation is any effort to influence or persuade someone else to a particular course of action”.

With this, we know negotiation is everywhere.  Negotiation isn’t just for people who market or close business deals; its something we all do every day. We negotiate with co-workers, bosses, subordinates, partners, children, service providers, etc. Also, it is a skill that can be improved.

Now let’s discuss how to negotiate.

The right way to negotiate:
Here’s the thing– there is NO right way to negotiate. It all depends on you, and how you go about it. One thing to note, though, is that you must always weigh the risk versus the reward. Cooperating with others always comes with some sacrifice; and similarly some benefit. The more cooperative you are, the better your chances of creating value… and the greater chance that someone will take advantage of you. So be prepared and think through your options very well before concluding.

Negotiate more effectively: Rejection Therapy
Many experts in the past have proposed various methods to having fruitful negotiations. A notable one is the “Rejection Therapy”. With rejection therapy, you directly seek rejection and then embrace it. The aim of this therapy is to desensitize yourself to the pain of rejection– to no longer be affected by it. Getting no’s for random requests strengthens you to go in head-on, whenever you need to negotiate.

A perfect example of this is Jia Jiang, a young entrepreneur who transformed the pain of rejection into success. After subjecting himself to 100 days of rejection by different people, he realized that people can unexpectedly say yes to anything. Today, Mr Jiang is a top-selling author of the book, “Rejection Proof”, and gets paid to talk about rejection globally.

Therefore, take away all emotions when it comes to negotiations. Prepare for rejection and turn that pain into success.

How to Negotiate successfully

Negotiate more effectively: The Arm Exercise
More recent research from the Stanford School of Business confirms that we tend to grossly underestimate people’s willingness to comply with our requests. Also, there is the arm-exercise, which proves that you can claim more value for yourself in any negotiation. In this two-man activity, you are expected to arm wrestle your partner for a number of times.The rules are simple; no talking and keep your eyes closed. Each time one wins, he earns an imaginary prize of $1000. If done properly, when one partner gets a very high score, the other tends to get a very high score too. What does this mean?

The highest scorers cooperate by taking turns touching the back of each person’s hand to the desk, without fighting each other. That is the solution to the Arm Exercise. It simply means that we create more for ourselves when we cooperate.

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

– John F. Kennedy

More ways of negotiating right

The Win-Win situation
This point further expands on the arm- exercise. To create value in a negotiation, it is critical to move from a single issue to multiple issues– for example, talking about more than just price. Single-issue negotiations (price only) are inherently win-lose. Bringing in new issues creates opportunities for creative trade offs. Each side trades what they want least for what they want most, and both sides’ interests are satisfied… A Win-Win solution.

“Never give without taking and plan for the worst, but always expect the best”

One last thing we can learn about negotiation, is fairness. The best long term strategy, per research, is Tit-For-Tat. Start with a friendly and cooperative first move, and moving forward respond in kind. Cooperate with those who cooperate with you, and defect against those who have done same.
Also, trustworthiness is key. In the short run, untrustworthy individuals often benefit. However, in the long run, trustworthiness is the best policy. Research shows that the #1 success factor in organizations is relationships of mutual trust and respect. So it’s in your best interest to be trustworthy. Again, trusting others can be good too, but only up to a point. Cautiously and carefully cooperating with others is ideal.

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