Every Businessperson Should Have These 4 Powerful Negotiation Skills

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Negotiation skills can be the difference between a thriving business and one that barely scrapes by. However, what skills do you need to master to make deals like a pro? According to The Negotiation Experts, the following four skills can help businesspeople maximize the value of their agreements.

Be well prepared

Skilled negotiators don’t assume victory. Even those with outstanding track records take time to prepare. Preparation allows you to think about what you want. When you’re clear on what you want, you can develop a plan to get it.

Taking time to prepare also gives you a chance to gather valuable information. The timely use of information can better your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. Also, the better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel and act. Studies show that confidence is one of the key factors that determines who comes out on top.

Effective communication

The ability to speak in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner is crucial when negotiating. Ramble on and on and you’ll quickly lose the other person’s attention and interest. If your words or tone invoke confusion or tension, persuading someone to see your point of view will be tough.

Being an effective communicator also involves active listening. When you listen closely to what the other person is saying, you can better understand their needs. Also, when people feel heard, they’re more likely to deal with you in good faith.

Tactical patience

Speed can be useful in a negotiation. It can create a sense of urgency, which can trigger action. But rushing can also lead to rash and suboptimal decisions. In your haste, you may also not spot major red flags. Patience allows you to think things through and make more informed decisions. However, it has its downsides. For instance, if you move too slowly, the deal could slip away.

Tactical patience helps you assess the situation and choose the best pace to adopt. For instance, you may need to pick up the pace if the other person seems ready to walk away. If the other negotiator appears puzzled, hitting pause to check for understanding may be the best move.

Flexibility

Negotiations can stall despite your best efforts. If you dig in your heels, you could miss out on a fantastic opportunity. Or worse, the process could break down completely. However, by being flexible, you could find another way to move the discussion forward.

Flexibility doesn’t mean giving up on your goals. It means being open to different ways of reaching an agreement. A flexible mindset allows you to explore different options. To see the situation from different angles and adapt your strategy as needed. Besides helping you clinch a deal, this skill also allows you to build long-term relationships and trust—two essential ingredients for productive deals.

Mastering these four skills can help you close more deals and get better terms. So, take time to practice them so you’re comfortable using them when it really matters.

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