Wondering how to learn to negotiate? Get started with this 5-minute read

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Effective communication is the cornerstone of every transaction you make in personal or professional life. And when it comes to closing a deal or a person, things get pretty interesting pretty quickly.

How many times have people treated you like a pushover or made you do certain things on their own terms? Have you been in such encounters one too many times? Well, it’s time to turn the tables around, put your foot down and tip the scale in your favour.

This is a short guide to help you get started with learning negotiation skills, which you can enhance and perfect over time by attending online negotiation seminars.

So, let’s dive right into it.

Mirror their actions

When you are talking with someone, you must listen and analyze first before putting your point across. Are they speaking in a low, deep pitch? Are they making any hand gestures? Are they sitting or standing a certain way? These are some of the attributes of their body language that you should mirror in order to build a rapport initially.

When you mirror their voice, body language and even opinions, they will feel connected with you. And once you build that connection, they’d be instantly more interested in what you have got to say.

Here’s a piece of caution. Don’t imitate their actions and body language to the T, as this might create an awkward situation, and you will end up embarrassing yourself or the other person.

Empathize

Empathy is one of the most potent tools in negotiations. You can use this tool to win over your prospects and make them agree with you or buy whatever you are selling. If person A comes to you with a problem, he/she is most likely to have a particular emotion tied up to that problem. You need to identify that emotion and use it to your advantage.

For instance, someone is worried, sad or anxious about making a decision; or that someone is excited, joyful or confused about making a purchase. You will want to tap into their emotions and empathize with them to give them a sense of belongingness, and that you care about them more than proving your point or selling a product/service.

Never disagree blatantly

Blatant disagreements often make a negotiation worse than from where it starts. If you disagree with someone, you are telling them that they are wrong. Nobody likes to be told that.

Instead, you can start asking questions without showing disapproval. Asking the right question is key here. You can always start with ‘why’ or ‘how’. And when they are done answering your questions, you will have more information about them and the subject. And if you can use this information to your advantage, which you will, they will eventually come around to agree with you.

That’s how you win the battle without the bloodshed.

Bend their reality

At every stage of life, you are going to meet people with a rigid stance and the bloated feeling of being always right just about everything. When such people try to nickel and dime you or make you feel that you have no choice but to conform to their version of reality, here’s what you can do. Every individual has their fair share of fears and insecurities related to deadlines, needs and expectations. During a negotiation, you can leverage these variables to bend their reality and give them what you want to give them and not what they think they deserve.

Knowing is not enough. You must also practice every day – or whenever you get a chance – to internalise these negotiation tactics in your behaviour and routine.

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