Failure to communicate equals failure to negotiate. Sometimes people in negotiations are just acting as if they are doing their work. Don’t try to trick anybody – remember that together you can reach a positive goal. Another problem can be listening – both parties can be guilty of not really hearing what is being said.
Some words have different meanings depending on culture, so be conscious in word choice when dealing with people from different backgrounds. To improve your listening skills, ask relevant questions such as “Did I understand you correctly that….?” It is more than wise to not just focus on your own objectives.
If at all possible, keep any group meetings small. Don’t use “You” but “I or we” statements. Any personality conflicts need to be resolved before it becomes a serious problem. Never attack a person, just a problem.
Positions are often concrete, and won’t be changed – so there’s no point in negotiating them. How to negotiate effectively is critical to any kind of career success. Remember not to wasteany time negotiating over positions.
Before jumping into a negotiation, give yourself a brief test.
· Is an agreement on this possible?
· Is this the best use of time and energy?
· Is this going to make a relationship better, or at least not ruin one?
If you start off talking about one idea, you will take it on as a position, defend it vigorously, and hamper your own best efforts. Positions, like those relating to price, can cause someone to give in, but it takes a lot of time and could backfire. When negotiating becomes a pure battle of wills, relationships sour or even end. Find a medium between playing hardball and being too nice, and use it.
Never attack another person, and learn to see problems as impersonal. People and problems don’t necessarily have to go together. Focus on individual interests and innovative ways to solve other people’s problems. When this is done, the salesperson also draws a benefit.
Take time to analyze and separate the issues from people. Know from the beginning what kind
of negotiator you’re dealing with. Decide in advance what you cannot simply let go of. Work together toward a goal, and evaluate each side objectively. Don’t fall in to pressure – instead consider principles.
Questions That Make You Think
How do you plan to improve your skills in marketing communications?
What kind of concepts do you feel can be readily negotiated?