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How to Become a Better Negotiator

Learning how to negotiate is a necessary business skill. Whether you’re dealing with opening a new business, developing a client contract or asking for a raise,
your ability as a negotiator can have a significant impact on the outcome. Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, author of Think Like a Negotiator, offers the following tips to up your negotiation game:

  • Understand that everything is negotiable. When you decide that the terms for anything can be changed in your favor, a world of opportunity opens up. Of course, as with most things in life, there will be rules to adhere to with each deal on the table, and those rules are needed to prevent chaos and keep discussions on track. However, even rules are negotiable! They can be modified if you simply propose an ethical, viable and mutually beneficial alternative solution. Powerful negotiators are rule breakers!
  • Create a strong foundation by building relationships first. It’s time to slow down and start making real connections with people—particularly
    those you might be involved with in a deal later on. Find out something about them and their lives. Get personal. You can glean useful information during casual conversation, including what they value in life, what motivates them, what annoys them, their ethics, etc. Find out something about them, personally, and not just their business. You might be surprised how well you can leverage what you learn through a genuine conversation.
  • Use the power of silence. Talking too much is a sure-fire way to kill a deal. Have you ever been offered a product or service, and the salesperson kept talking until he or she talked you right out of the purchase? If that person had simply asked for the sale and stopped talking, the chance for success would have increased significantly. Never underestimate the power of silence.

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