Management Insights

Negotiation Techniques – 10 Top Mistakes

negotiation techniquesAs an executive, a business manager or entrepreneur, one of the skills that determine your success is your ability to negotiate. Whether you are negotiating on price, on value, on which idea to implement or you are negotiating to reach a compromise on a difficult issue, it is easy to forget key principles of negotiation in the heat of the moment or in your desire to close the process.

Here are the top 10 mistakes that people make that you should avoid while negotiating:

1. Underestimating your own power

This is where you start doubting your own power and value and assume the other party knows your weaknesses and is the stronger party. If you think like this, you have already given the other party the advantage.

2. Concentrating on your problem

You just focus on your issue and forget the other side is there for a reason: they too need a way to gain from the agreement.

3. Being intimidated by the other party

This is a common mistake. If you get intimidated by the status of the person with whom you are negotiating, they will sense it and you lose credibility. Remember, your demeanor  and non-verbals play as important a role in negotiation as the words and the issues.

4. Falling for the deadline trick

This is a typical negotiating tactic used by the other side to make you decide quickly. Take your time. Don’t be forced into knee-jerk decisions.

5- Asking for too little

If you don’t expect much, you can be sure you will get much less than that. Always try to aim high and let the other side try to talk you down.

6. Being intimidated by “This is my final offer!”

This is a well-known negotiating tactic and 99 times out 100, it is NOT the final offer.

7. Failing to make concessions conditional

If you are going to make some concession, then be sure to ask for something in return like a finalization of agreement.

8. Talking too much

This means you are not listening enough. The best negotiators (think of those who deal with hostage-takers or those who are talking to someone who has threatened to jump from a tall building) usually ask 23 times as many questions as making statements.

9. Giving concessions too quickly

Another really common mistake is conceding on important issues too quickly. Making concessions too easily raises the other sides’ expectations.

10. Playing the “I am your friend” role

Oh come on, this is the real world! Pretending to be a friend or trying to be likable in the hope of getting some empathy is just being naive. Look the other person in the eye, stay your ground and get the deal. There will be time for friendship later.

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