negotiationNegotiation Skills

Traits of Good Negotiators (part 1)

Good Negotiators Think Win-Win

Anyone can walk in unprepared and try to hammer their opponent into the mud.  If that is what you want, you can get a decent result, short term, by overpowering your opponent.  Yet, if you negotiate this way, and you left even one small item out of the final agreement, I can guarantee you that your adversary will not let you correct it if you treated the negotiation as a win-lose.  However, if you aimed to get your adversary a winning result as well, I would propose that you could get your item corrected and possibly more, just because of the goodwill that you built up during the course of the negotiation.  A good negotiator does not set himself up to overpower the adversary or trick him into doing something to which he would otherwise not agree.  A good negotiator uses a professional, caring, and winning approach to achieve success for both parties.

Good Negotiators Are Good Planners

When a good negotiator gets ready to seek an agreement, he or she will get ready with excellent preparation.  I would rather have on my side a poor negotiator with outstanding information and planning than the best negotiator with poor information and planning.  Enter each negotiation with a plan of action and a desired outcome.  A good negotiator will gather plenty of information and will set goals and desired outcomes.  He or she will role-play in order to be better prepared and to rehearse, much like an actor.  That kind of preparation will pay off when the negotiator is in the heat of the battle.

Good Negotiators Leave Room To Negotiate

Good negotiators leave plenty of room to negotiate.  They don’t immediately go for the sticker price.  They start with the universal view that everything is negotiable and they start to value things differently in their own mind.  Instead of thinking “that is the asking price so it must be worth that,” they think “what is the price that I am willing to pay that would make this a good value for me?”  Then, since they understand that everything is negotiable, they don’t just blurt out what they are willing to pay, but they start the negotiation at an even more favorable level, eventually willing to go the price that they set in their mind.