4 Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid
Finalising a contract, chalking out new agreements or setting deadlines for your team – at one point or the other in your professional career you will be involved in negotiations. Negotiating is a hard task and if you haven’t had much experience, it can be intimidating. Negotiations take time, require soft skills and come with little guarantee as to you getting what you want at the end. Before you find yourself at the negotiation table, here’s a list of mistakes to watch out for:
Preparation is key. Before you go in, know your facts, offerings, needs and priorities. Have answer ready to questions such as at what point will the negotiating terms no longer work for you, what is the plan in case the negotiations go south, or what to do if you are getting less than what you expected. Understand if you have only one opportunity to negotiate terms or if there’s a longer negotiation cycle. Put yourself in the other’s party’s place and understand their preferences, their needs and their terms. The better prepared you are at the beginning – about your proposition and the client’s – the more productive you will be.
Don't rush through it.
Negotiations often take time and don’t come to a conclusion in a single meeting. Make efforts to establish a relationship with the negotiating party. Soft skills come in handy here. Be honest about your position, your non-negotiables, while opening a space where productive discussion can take place. A long-winded or deadlocked negotiation can turn fruitful when both parties understand each other’s expectations and constraints. Don’t be worried if negotiations take time – brief pauses in the process help you regain perspective, remove biases and minimise chances of scoring a half-baked deal.
Not negotiating details
You need to ensure that you not only present what you are offering, but how you are offering it and how it will take care of the other party’s needs. Often, agreements are reached without any discussion on how those targets will be met. Focus on how your offer is going to solve for the other side, how exactly are you going about making those interventions to develop the other party’s confidence in your pitch. This set a clear-cut view how the negotiated terms will be carried out and details such as prices, deliveries, taxes, etc can be successfully incorporated in your negotiating thinking.
Don't take a bad deal
At the end of the day, negotiations take long and they are stressful. People often make the mistake of agreeing just to get the deal off the ground. It is crucial to understand that any deal that you get is not better than no deal. It can be discouraging to have invested a lot of time and effort into the negotiations, but it is more important to have clarity about what you agree on. If you think that the negotiation results aren’t working for you, or if you cannot work under the terms, there should always be an option of not making a deal.