The Power of Negotiation
The key to negotiating can be boiled down to one thing – power. You need to build a powerful position and then deploy it. What are these sources of power? The list is long, but we’ve pulled out a few examples to start you off:
- This is a big one. By building up a bank of information you are building power. You need to know your customer or client inside and out (see our previous blog for more tips on this). Not only do you want to know their challenges and their needs, but you also need to know what kind of person they are – is their style quite aggressive? How will you respond to this and adapt your style?
- Situation of the company. Take the time to investigate the company you are pitching to. Look them up on Companies House, check out their annual reports, have a look at recent news articles that may indicate moves and shake-ups within the company. Do everything you can to get a full picture of their current situation.
- Economics. This is one you are likely to be familiar with as you built your business. What is the demand, who is the competition – is there competition? Is it a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market?
- Culture. This refers to both national culture and organisational culture, you should be aware of both before you enter negotiations. Some nationalities like to have lengthy sessions before they negotiate, some do not. Some cultures are reserved and hide emotions, and some are not afraid to get very passionate. The same goes for a organisation’s culture. Research and be prepared so you can adapt and respond in the best way.
- Adversarial vs Collaborative – a common misconception is that negotiation is about ‘winning’. Going into a room at odds with the other party and competing for a win/lose outcome. You should be going in aiming for a win/win outcome – you want to collaborate and come to an agreed position that works for everyone.
The key takeaway is research and preparation. The more information and knowledge you have behind you, the more powerful you will feel to land the perfect deal.