You may not think of yourself as a negotiator, but in truth reaching agreements with people is a skill that can translate into having peaceful relationships and getting the things in life that you really want and need. Whether professionally or personally, it’s a skill everyone should master. That’s according to Maureen Hoersten, chief revenue officer at LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm. Here are her words on how to be a better negotiator.
1. Identify pain points.
When negotiating, the biggest thing to consider are the pain points on each side, which could be personal or professional. Someone could need a lawn care company because they have a party with 100 people the next day and their lawn is a disaster. They’re looking for the best price, but if the lawn care company knows the pain point of needing to get this done in one day, they can use that to their advantage when negotiating price.
2. Consider the relationship.
Having a relationship with the person on the other side of the negotiation is important because you’ll better know their pain points. A better relationship means deeper insight into what they need and what they’re willing to give up.
3. Go in knowing what you’re willing to give up.
Consider what is very important to you and not so much to them, and vice versa. If you continue to fight over something that is minimal to you, it’s a waste of time. There’s give and take in negotiations. It should be a win-win to some extent for both sides.
4. Do your research.
Before any negotiation, know who your players are because the person on the other side will have most likely done his or her research. Knowledge breeds confidence and confidence tends to win over uncertainty.
5. Never negotiate over email.
Pick up the phone or have the conversation in person. Everything gets lost in translation via email because you don’t know how the other person is feeling in reaction to what you write.
6. Role play.
Regardless if it’s negotiating over something small, or if it’s with someone you have a close relationship with–role play, role play, role play. It could be in your head, out loud to yourself, or with family, friends or coworkers.
7. Don’t fight a battle that’s not worth it.
If you feel the negotiation is going in a downward spiral consider how big the outcome (good or bad) would be if you walked away. Is it detrimental or can you take the hit if you walk away from it? If they can’t give you something that you want, consider what else they can give you instead.