5 ways to improve your negotiation skills

“Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate,” were the poignant words of former US President John F. Kennedy that are still relevant today.  Negotiating is something we all do on a daily basis, whether you’re persuading your family to let you watch your favorite TV show or persuading your boss to give you a pay rise.  While some of us shy away from confrontation and others thrive on it, we all want the best deal in life.

Here are five ways to improve your negotiation skills to ensure that you always close the deal:

Be decisive                 

Knowing exactly what you want is the key to being a good negotiator.  You are less likely to be taken seriously if you are unsure and keep changing your mind.  We all want to articulate ourselves in the best possible way and don’t want to be left struggling to find the right words.  Preparing your arguments beforehand ensures you will say everything you want to and won’t be left dwelling on everything you could have said but didn’t.

Take charge

The key to negotiating is taking charge of the discussion and shaping it to your advantage.  If you make the first move, you will have the psychological advantage and won’t be left on the back foot.  If you dictate the direction of the discussion, you can play to your strengths.  Set the tone you want the discussion to take and essentially you will have the home advantage.

Present yourself confidently

To be a great negotiator, you must have faith in yourself. However, it is essential that your confidence is not misconstrued as arrogance.  Use your body language to your advantage and radiate confidence.  Using gestures and being more expressive will allow you to show your passion.  On the other hand, if you sit hunched over and look defeated, you won’t be painting yourself in a good light.  Don’t cross your arms as you can come across as defensive.

Avoid common sales techniques

If you stick to clichés and common sales phrases, it might put the other party off. This can be perceived to be a lack of originality or passion.  It is a good idea to make notes to organise your thoughts, but don’t use them as if reading off a script.

Always ensure you sound genuine and remember it is important to listen to what the other party is saying.  If they feel they are being ignored, they will start to shut down. An article by The Telegraph states the importance of understanding “what the other party needs, not just what they say they want.”  It is essential that you understand how to compromise and don’t ignore the needs of others.

Use evidence

You are much more likely to be persuasive if you use facts and hard evidence.  This makes it harder for the other party to disagree, and you will present yourself as more reliable, as someone who in an expert in their profession.  Again, while it is important to plan and find facts, avoid reciting them as if reading a script.

To ensure you have top negotiating skills, why not consider attending one of the Negotiating Skills Training courses we offer at Frosch Learning? Get in touch today to find out more.