PUBLISHED 26 Jul 2021
CATEGORY: Business Negotiation

Closing the Deal: 7 Ways to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

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Negotiation skill can get you what you want in life. It can help to close crucial business deals, pave the way to a stellar career, or even benefit you in a situation of conflict. In everyday life, we often negotiate without even realising it. Many people dislike negotiation, feeling like it’s a form of confrontation. So how do you close a deal without playing hardball or burning bridges along the way? Negotiating techniques might call for making small talk first, understanding the client’s point of view or getting a little creative. 
 

Types of negotiation skills

Negotiation skills allow for a dialogue with two or more people to resolve a conflict, settle a difference, and hopefully reach a compromise. Both parties should ideally reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Negotiation examples in the workplace include settling on agreement terms, coming to a deal on pricing, working out contract details, and more. Here are some of the negotiation skills that assist in these times. 

Analysis - Business negotiations often begin with an in-depth analysis of the situation. This allows interested parties to look at the situation objectively and discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats before proceeding. 

Communication – Being able to pay attention to the other party allows great negotiators to understand what motivates them. Many people see this as a leading method in negotiating strategy. Good communication skills also allow you to communicate what you expect from the negotiation. 

Persuasion – It’s a gift to be able to convince people to see the world differently. Tactical negotiation benefits from having someone with the ability to influence others. Ideally, if the other party feels like the change of mind is their own, a happy compromise is met. 
 

7 Tips for Negotiation success

Not everyone is born with great negotiation skills, so learning how to have a clear understanding of how both parties view the deal helps. Effective negotiations can lead to fair results. One of a significant negotiation examples in business is between Disney and Lucasfilm. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, it wasn’t a negotiation made out of the blue. Preceding the USD4billion deal, both companies patiently engaged in talks for over a year and half. Disney CEO Robert A. Iger and Lucasfilm’s founder George Lucas personally helmed the talks, with Iger attributing the success of the deal to trust
 

So what does it take to negotiate like a winner? Here are 7 tips:

Listen – If you want to achieve the best deal, you need to understand your client’s motivation. Whatever your life situation, listening with an open ear can help you to persuade them to pivot and move towards a compromise.

Make small talk – Take a little time to know your negotiating partner as it could provide crucial information to help you in the deal. Small talk doesn’t need to be personal; you could discuss the deal process to ensure you’re both sailing smoothly. 

Don’t overtalk – Excessive talking can make others feel uncomfortable. It can force them to make concessions and perhaps jump in with a counteroffer. Knowing when to remain silent can be vital to achieving the deal you want. 

Ask questions – Asking open-ended questions will keep the dialogue moving. For example, "What would you say if I told you that this might be the first of many potential partnerships?" rather than a closed "Is this your final offer?" question.

Be creative – Creativity can be a far more useful negotiation instrument than knowledge. Your ability to demonstrate think outside the box can see happier outcomes for all negotiating parties. Try to create individualistic ideas and solutions to matters that are at the heart of the negotiation. 

Use ‘real’ numbers – Do your homework before the negotiation so that you can back up your reasoning with real facts and numbers. Talking in averages and assumptions leaves a lot of room for doubt, and having a tangible point will help you assert your negotiation terms. 

First offer – Strike first and place a high value on your deal. This will force your negotiating partner to be the one to propose a lower offer. Setting the terms will allow you to steer the debate. 

Negotiating requires give and take but it doesn’t need to be a push and pull. Maintaining your composure and manners can result in a long-standing partnership. A successful negotiation may mean conceding to little things to achieve the winning deal.