Negotiation is a priceless skill in business. It’s one that can open new doors and help companies grow. Negotiation is a discussion between two or more people to reach a solution that’s in everyone’s interest and the art of negotiation can be mastered through experience and specialised negotiation training and courses. When properly conducted, negotiation avoids conflict and improves relations between parties who might otherwise be at odds. There are also a few key tips to follow to help you achieve better negotiation results.

Take your time. In negotiations it is often effective to try and end the deal as quickly as possible but don’t rush into decisions without having full confidence in them. The opposing party will often try to apply pressure to speed up the negotiation and secure a deal that suits them. It’s important for both parties to spend enough time grafting a deal worth securing. Patience is key and before making a final decision, it’s often advisable to seek advice.

Keep calm. Negotiation can often be a challenge for both parties but it’s important to remember that it’s not personal – it’s business. Regardless of whether a negotiation is won or lost, working relationships will continue after any deal. Therefore it’s vital to maintain respect in the course of negotiations; keeping calm and professional with all parties.

Be prepared. Negotiating with credible information and a broad understanding of the discussion is key to understanding the opposing party’s strengths and weaknesses. Knowing how and when to counteract their arguments in the event of non-agreement will mean gaining an upper hand in the deal. While it is important to show respect throughout the negotiation, it is also important to be assertive and spell out what you want from the deal. This takes a strong mind and tact. It is important that when doing this to not come across as aggressive, but conduct yourself in a way that shows you know what you want. Preparation gives the best possible chance of a successful outcome.

Consider the bigger picture. Before a negotiation starts it’s important to have a clear understanding of the desired outcome. What are the long-term goals? How will the business benefit from the deal? It can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, particularly when under pressure. At the beginning of any negotiation, express to the opposing party how working together can benefit both sides. This will help set the right tone in the event of any disagreements down the line.

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Be strategic and smart. The longer a negotiation takes, the more overwhelming and stressful it can be – so be clever in your handling of the process. It’s recommended to start negotiating a few points of contention that can be quickly resolved. Once the negotiation is in full flow and positive rapport is built between parties, bigger issues will be easier to address.

Good negotiating is key to business success, building stronger relationships, helping avoid future conflicts, and delivering lasting solutions. With expert guidance and specialised training from experts like The Gap Partnership, the art of negotiation can be mastered. This will ensure your working relationships are more positive and professional – and help your business achieve a more successful and profitable future.