Whether you’re a sales broker, a remote worker in tech, or about to embark on a new career, mastering the art of negotiation is crucial for achieving success. Throughout my extensive 25-year experience in the real estate industry, I have witnessed firsthand how skillfully navigating conflicts and finding mutually beneficial terms can lead to a triumphant outcome for all parties involved. Negotiation is not limited to mere discussions about initial contracts or sales agreements; it extends to grand-scale business deals that may span over a year of intense meetings.
To equip yourself with the necessary skills to excel, close deals, and make sales, employ these effective tactics.
1. Prioritize Listening in Negotiations
According to Chris Voss, the renowned former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI and a respected instructor of business negotiations at prestigious institutions like Harvard University, the first step in negotiation is to listen attentively. In his book, “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It,” Chris emphasizes the significance of empathizing with the other party and truly understanding their perspective. Sometimes, all the other side seeks is to be heard and acknowledged.
2. When it comes to negotiations, it’s not always about the price tag. While many people associate negotiations with buying a property or negotiating a salary, the end goal may not always be money. As the old saying goes, “You name the price, I’ll set the terms.” This highlights the importance of looking beyond the numbers and considering all aspects of a deal. After all, there’s more to a successful negotiation than just the final price.
In a recent deal I handled, the client had a burning desire to squeeze out the highest possible price for their property. The buyer, a savvy developer, cunningly proposed that by extending the timeline, they could indeed reach that desired price point. Miraculously, the two parties managed to strike a harmonious agreement, granting the purchaser the luxury of a lengthier closing period. This strategic move allowed them to successfully secure project approval and secure the necessary financing. On the other hand, the seller had their own pressing need to find a new abode, making this outcome a true win-win situation for all involved.
3. Negotiating can be a complex process, with seemingly opposing sides trying to reach an agreement. However, beneath the surface, there is often common ground waiting to be discovered. As discussions progress, parties may realize that they share similar goals and can work together towards a solution. This requires patience, dedication, and a touch of ingenuity, especially when dealing with diverse sellers and buyers, such as large corporations and small businesses. Despite the challenges, I find these conversations to be the most rewarding part of my job. When parties uncover ways to benefit each other, the result is usually a positive one.
4. The path to success is rarely a short one. It takes time and patience to find the right solution. Just like Apple and LG Display, who spent over a year negotiating and discussing their partnership. Apple wanted a trustworthy supplier for their OLED screens, while LG Display aimed to grow their business. They went back and forth, discussing prices, production capacity, and quality control. But in the end, they reached an agreement. And when the iPhone X hit the market with LG’s OLED displays, it became a global sensation, topping the charts as the best-selling smartphone. So remember, sometimes it’s worth taking the long-term view and putting in the effort to achieve greatness.
5. Choose the Path of Integrity
According to Voss, adopting a calm and collected tone during negotiations can lead to a more effective outcome. Losing your temper can result in long-term adversarial relationships, whereas taking the high road, even when the other party is not, can lead to a better settlement and help you maintain your integrity.
6. Set Your Sights on Success
Before entering into negotiations, take the time to prepare and research your desired outcome. This will help you navigate the conversation and steer it towards achieving your goals.
Practice Makes Perfect
Negotiating skills take time and practice to develop. Consider reaching out to a mentor or taking additional courses to further hone your abilities. Once you have mastered these skills, you will be able to achieve long-term success in your business, sales, or profession.