Naturally, you want to secure the best deals possible from your clients and suppliers. However, landing those deals – which will not necessarily be the cheapest deals, but the ones providing the best return on your money – is not always straightforward. Hence, you might need to draw upon skills in clever negotiation – and here are just some tactics that you can use in the process.

Remember to negotiate rather than haggle

Negotiating and haggling aren’t identical. With haggling, you would be attempting to strike strictly the least expensive deal possible. Now, while you will understandably be carefully considering your company’s bottom line during your exchanges with the contact, taking account of price alone is better suited to Marrakech souks than your business’s boardroom.

While costs remain a factor when negotiating, this process always factors in at least one additional variable – such as the payment terms, time frame or guarantees, or what the product or service itself offers. Furthermore, the overall intention is for all parties – two or more – to be satisfied upon leaving the table. On one side or another, there might be compromises – but not significant ones.

Be especially careful during the first five minutes of negotiating

The Journal of Applied Psychology has published a study revealing that those five minutes could predict the outcome.  The study explains that, in that time, you should focus on “conversational engagement, prosodic emphasis – which basically means you should copy the emotional state of the speaker – and vocal mirroring” to increase the chances of that outcome falling in your favour.

Decide what requirements you would willingly settle for

You will walk into that boardroom well aware of everything you would love to walk away with in a best-case scenario. Keeping this in mind is worthwhile; however, you also need to leave open the very real possibility that you won’t tick every single box on your list.

Therefore, before negotiating, you should make a note of both your perfect deal and the “fallback” alternative – in other words, the least that you would accept. What aspects of a deal would you consider essential to the extent of non-negotiable? What parts, on the other hand, would you give way on if another party in the negotiations was not willing to make these concessions?

Your negotiating space falls between your dream deal and your fallback stance. Ajuve explains: “If this overlaps with the other party and you are able to find areas to concede or compromise on, then you stand the best possible chance of securing a win-win agreement.”

Undertake in-house training in negotiating skills

The advice in this article can provide just a starting point for your development into a sophisticated negotiator. At Frosch Learning, we offer a course that can teach you how to further hone your negotiating skills. Once you and members of your team have completed the programme, you will each be more adept at reading body language, maximising opportunities, and getting ahead in meetings.