People need to drop this connotation that negotiations are battles, but rather a meeting where two parties have a huge interest in whatever the outcome may be. Each party wants a piece of the pie, it just depends what part of the pie they want.
- Listen to the other side. Before any figures start getting thrown around, make sure you understand what it is the other party wants out of your negotiation. Maybe it is something more pragmatic. Maybe rather than trying to bargain, they are trying to get more out of their money, or vice versa. Suss out their needs and respond accordingly.
- Research. Know what you’re talking about and go in there with a bit of a goal. Are you trying to lower the price of supplies you are getting? Get an industry average and back up those figures. Are you trying to increase your prices? Have a value proposal as to why. Most people usually lose out here because they simply don’t know what to expect.
- The Theory of Relativity. This is the part where you have the least control over: the type of person you’re dealing with on the other side. Are they natural hardballers? These are the type of guys whom you’ll need other hardballers backed with a lot of facts. Developed a bad relationship with them? Send your charmer. The guys who try to drain every cent out of you? Well, have to fight fire with fire.And the guys who simply want to work with you and build good, mutual business with you? Don’t forget to send that sample pack to their missus.