This is the second article in a two-part series on the principles of negotiation. If you do not have access to the first part article, you will find it on my blog.
7. Use your strengths and manage your weaknesses
In every negotiation each part has strengths and weaknesses. If one side had all the cards, then it would not be a negotiation, they would simply give the terms.
Be aware of your strengths and how you can best use them and be aware of your weaknesses and know how to manage them. Part of managing your weaknesses is to mask them as strong points wherever possible.
Strength in a negotiation comes from things like willingness to leave, low perceived need, low or low time limits or having something the other party needs but can not easily get elsewhere.
Weakness comes from the strong need for what the other party is offering, from short times or from a lack of need on the part of the other party.
8. Respond rather than react
A reaction implies that it is a reflection and does not involve thought or strategy. Skilled negotiators try to make their opponents react.
Responding on the other side is keeping control and doing nothing that is not a weighted application of your strategy.
If you are in the habit of reacting, it is very easy for a skilled negotiator to manipulate you during the negotiation.
9. Attract rather than chase
It is very difficult for you to win a negotiation if you are hunting. The idea is to make your proposals in such a way as to attract the other party to the desired result. This result is achieved by combining a good offer and presenting it with good negotiation skills.
10. Break the complicated problems into simple elements and then negotiate the items.
The human brain can process so much information in one bite. If you are involved in a complex negotiation, it will be better to break it down into several components and negotiate them as separate problems.
Some negotiators have, as a strength, the ability to mentally contain large amounts of information and will try to keep the negotiation complicated. If this is not your strength, then do not fall into this trap.
11. Know when to negotiate concepts and when to negotiate details
There are times when the details are extremely important but there are other times when they are just a distraction. It develops the ability to be able to see the difference.
It could also be a good strategy in many negotiations to get an agreement on a general concept first and then move on to negotiate the details.
12. Having a system to take care of the details
The negotiations by their nature are generally verbal. Once the negotiation is over, it is important that the agreement is written and signed as soon as possible.
The easiest way to achieve this is to have a system already, even before the negotiation begins. For a seller this could be obtained with an official order form. For a complicated negotiation of large companies it could mean delivering to your law office.
Keep in mind that the longer the time between negotiation and signing the formal agreement, the more likely the re-opening of the negotiation will be.
Negotiation is not a skill you can master in five minutes, but these twelve basic principles are a good place to start.
See Part 1 here … The twelve basic principles of negotiation – Numbers 1 to 6