Management June 15, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 3,170 Reads share

5 Considerations to Change How You Approach Business Negotiations

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People’s negotiation styles vary based on the circumstances involved. Some business negotiations are a mix of competitive and collaborative approaches. In general, it is a lot more profitable to steer events towards partnership rather than rivalry. In business, negotiators adopt various roles, each with their own strengths.

#1. Different negotiators with different negotiation styles

First, we have the factual negotiator who knows all the facts linked to the deal in questioning. He asks factual questions and is able to cover all bases to guarantee that nothing is left out. Factual negotiators are not emotional people and they’re perfectly capable of maintaining a positive identity without actually feeling positive.

Next we have the relational negotiator who establishes relationships with counterparts and is sensitive to the emotional issues of the other party. He knows how to build trust and is capable of perceiving an opponent’s position at the negotiation table. Relational negotiators may develop angst to build relationships; they have a tendency to offer too much information without realizing that they made a mistake. Sometimes their sensitivity interacts with their emotions and can make them lose perspective.

Third we have the intuitive type of negotiator who comes up with unforeseen solutions. He is able to solve issues that come from irrelevant details and he can also visualize all the implications that come with a proposal.

#2. Bread down old-fashioned negotiation stereotypes

It’s time that we break down conventional negotiating stereotypes. The investor against client model is no longer applicable. That model has been substituted with the “business partnership” approach. Sincerity and openness now replace egoism and self-centeredness. People shouldn’t just focus on doing what’s best for themselves; they should negotiate with the whole group in mind and do whatever they can to please all the people involved in that negotiation. This way everybody wins.

However many negotiators who are fond of traditional techniques still adhere to the win-lose strategy. They’re intellectually unable to see that there’s more to negotiation than just taking advantage of your counterpart.  So for the partnership type of negotiation, business people must be willing to share information and prove to the other party that they have confidence in their judgement abilities. Give opponents the opportunity to open up and share ideas, and you’ll have a lot to win.

#3. Develop negotiation expertise

Companies should have a well-established negotiation strategy. This is just as important as HR and management. In the minds of most business people, a negotiation is a meeting that happens around a table, with parties sitting on their own sides, just like the opponents of a disagreement. The approach mentioned is wrong, and we must give up this idea that negotiation is about revolt, winners and losers.

Negotiation is the pulsing lifeblood of a company; and to be honest, every kind of communication or human interaction we must face on a daily basis entails negotiation, in one way or another. Sometimes, we negotiate when we make personal decisions too; we bargain with ourselves. “Should I do this or that…?”

The more experience you have when negotiating with business partners the better chances you have to reach a favorable agreement that can suit all the parties involved. Be patient when entering a meeting and wait for your turn to speak. Preserve a professional attitude all the way through, and you’ll also gain the respect and admiration of opponents.

#4. Have a vision

Having strong negotiation skills is vital for business. Pressured by the current recession companies often involve themselves in conflict ridden negotiations. Nothing good can come out of a business meeting where the parties involved are arrogant, vindictive winners or resentful losers. This sort of meeting will eventually devolve into destructive, strained working relationships. It’s not something that you want; for a company to live up to the expectations of the current business environment it must build and boost their bargaining skills. The ability to foster smart relationships is fundamental to the goals a company is trying to achieve.

Have a vision and help counterparts create one too. Don’t enter negotiations with the purpose of selling them your product, and stay focused on grabbing their attention first. Sell them a dream and make them realize that your proposition can help the bottom line of their companies too.

#5. Be a winner by implementing a win-win negotiation deal

In times of economic turmoil, differentiations are narrow and the competition level between companies is intense. The old-fashioned strategies of aggressive negotiations – bluffing, machismo, distrust and smugness – are no longer efficient. By adhering to the win-win strategy you get two valuable things: a great deal and a partnership. Everybody wins something. The parties involved have the greatest chances to become loyal business partners, and even friends. A win-win doesn’t just help your company’s bottom line; it also fosters lucrative, strong working relationships that can help you gain the recognition that you want a lot faster.

Negotiation is a method business people should use to find a solution to a problem. The outcome should benefits all the parties involved equally. Unfortunately, some people don’t agree to this approach and they would rather adopt more aggressive strategies in the hopes of winning more. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win, although “how” you win it says a lot about you, your principles and business.

Negotiation demands an assertive behaviour. It is important for the people involved to collaborate and reach an agreement. Dealing with a negotiator who fancies aggressive negotiation strategies may lead to a conflicting situation. Someone will lose, someone will win and someone may even walk away.  An aggressive attitude in business often leads to dislikes. Rather than have to deal with such hostile and uncomfortable situations, you are advised to keep calm and pursue your goal.

If there’s no way your opponent will listen to your demands, then you should walk away. Sometimes no deal is a lot better than any deal. Always negotiate with your interests in mind, and if you can’t cope consider negotiation consulting services to help you and your business stay on the floating line.

Images: “Close-up of business meeting/


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Davis Miller

Davis Miller

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