The ability to negotiate well is perhaps one of the most vital skills for success in one’s life yet for most people, it is hard to understand how to become a better negotiator. The ability to negotiate is not some inherent aptitude that one has or does not have. It is, in fact,like all other skills one that can be acquired and honed over time. Here are the key things to remember in order to become an accomplished negotiator:

1- Start with the right negotiation mindset

The best negotiators understand that there are no boundaries in negotiation and that everything is possible. Rather than worrying about asking for too much, they are more concerned that they might ask for too little. This kind of mindset triggers three things i) you aim high ii) you are not afraid to ask for a lot more than you originally thought was possible and iii) you feel optimistic that you will secure a great outcome. This mindset and thinking is absolutely essential in ensuring better results. Your optimism that you will succeed is the catalyst that creates a psychological advantage for you even before the negotiation has started. A cautious, tentative, “oh gosh I don’t want to scare them away” approach will have the opposite effect and signal to the other party that they can can secure much more than they originally expected.

2- Be assertive and challenge everything

Successful negotiators are assertive and challenge everything including their own positions. A time-tested strategy for getting optimum results is overcoming your own tendency to start with a cautious opening position. Choose instead to open with a more non-linear, maybe even an extreme position. If you are a seller, ask for much more than you think you should and if you are a buyer, offer much less than you think you should. What is worse – a position taht was not accepted by the other part or a position taht was immediately accepted by the other party and leaving you feeling you got the short end of the bargain

3- Don’t be in a rush

A great virtue in negotiation is patience. When you rush or are too keen to conclude the negotiation, you place yourself under pressure and put the other party in the drtiving seat. If you rush, you always almost lose out. If you are patient and give the impression you are not pushed for time, you create pressure on the other party to concede more to conclude the deal.

4- Remember who sets the price

Always remember and keep telling yourself that the person who sets the price is the one who can walk away from the deal. To be be able to walk away, you need alternatives. Never negotiate without alternatives or options because that is a recipe for failure in negotiation. If you are not desperate and if you know you have other options, the other party will sense that immediately and be more willing to come closer to your terms. ngth.

5- Listen more and talk less

The best negotaitors ask short, probing questions then go quiet and let the other party do the blabbing. You need to know what the other party is thinking and there is only one way to know that which is to to shut up and listen. Asking open questions is a great way to train yourself to listen more

6- Focus on the other party’s pressure not your own

Of course you have your own needs and pressure to do the deal but try not to focus on this. Imagine the issue the other party is facing, what they must be going through. Recalibrating your approach in this manner creates a significant psychological advanatge for you.

7- Never concede anything without a reciprocal something in return

Unilateral concessions are an invitation for the other party to start dominating the negotiation process and ask for even more concessions. The amazing, counter-intuitive reality is that when you ask for something in return for a concession you are making, the other party feels much more satisfied.

8- Demonstrate respect and a desire for win-win for all concerned

Assertiveness in negotiation does not mean losing your cool or respect for the other party’s position. Successful negotiators stay respectful and calm and look for ways to let the other party feel they have a win too.