Negotiation is as much a science as it is an art. Whether you are talking to your boss about the need for a new laptop or negotiating a multi-million dollar contract for your company, here are 3 key rules to abide by for effective negotiation.
1. Be crystal clear about your objectives. It is important to begin with a clear idea of what you want to achieve. However, you may also want to be prepared that it is possible that you may have to modify your objectives as the negotiation proceeds.
2. Prepare thoroughly. Your chances of success increase if you are better prepared for negotiation. Preparation is about:
- Gathering facts and figures. Check the accuracy of your information and ensure that your claims are well substantiated with hard information. - Consulting colleagues or experts in the subject area - Understanding the objectives, underlying interests and concerns of the other party - Rehearsing the presentation of your argument - Anticipating questions or retorts from the other party
3. Building good personal relationships.
It is easier to talk to someone we know compared to a complete stranger. Take the time to get to know the background of the people you are negotiating with. If you can establish some rapport with them, chances are that you will be more relaxed and find it easier to get your message across to the other party. A close personal relationship can make or break an impasse or when negotiation takes a bad turn.