How To Be A Skilled Negotiator

How to Be a Skilled Negotiator

There are a lot of reasons in your life you might need to negotiate and have skills for it. For example, it’s common to have to negotiate in business. This might mean if you start a business, you’re dealing with suppliers. You could also have to negotiate if you work for someone else and you want a raise. 

You could negotiate to save money on your bills, or you might need to negotiate if you’re in an accident and you’re working on swaying an adjuster towards your demand amount

Even if you’re shy or perhaps intimidated, the following are some tips that can help you develop those timelessly valuable negotiation skills. 

Understand Why You Don’t Negotiate

Understanding the reasons underlying your thought processes and what’s holding you back from being an aggressive negotiator is essential. You’re not able to combat what’s holding you back if you can’t identify it. 

With that in mind, maybe you’re worried you’ll look silly, or you’re afraid to have a confrontation with someone you consider in power. You could be worried that you don’t know as much as the person you might be negotiating with, or you could have a hard time with rejection. 

The situation could scare you because it can feel out of your control as well since you don’t know what the other person will say or how they’ll react. 

By being honest with yourself, you can perhaps see how your worries are illogical and are taking opportunities away from you. 

Ask For What You Want

The most important and also the simplest way to negotiate effectively? Ask for what you want. 

Develop the courage to say directly what it is that you’re after. 

At the same time, you’re also going to need to think critically about what it is the other person wants. You can hone in on their priorities simply by listening and hearing what the other person says to you. 

You can start to gather, by actively listening, where someone is willing to be flexible and also where they aren’t. 

When you’re negotiating, being silent sometimes can be one of the most vital tools you have to use to your advantage. You don’t want to be the one to try and fill the silence. Let the other person do that, and then you can gather information that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to if you were the one doing all the talking. 

Identify Shared Goals

No matter the specific situation where you’re negotiating, you want to be able to highlight the goals that you share with the other party. 

Even in a more contentious example, like negotiating with an insurance adjuster, you’re going to be able to find and highlight shared goals. For example, both of you want to close the claim out. Both of you want to be able to do that without going to a time-consuming, costly trial, and that common shared goal can help you move forward in your negotiations. 

Give Yourself The Luxury Of Time

Too often, people who hate negotiation will do anything just to end the process. This is going to be a disadvantage for you, however. Much like silence can be a strength, so can time. 

Going back again to the example of an insurance adjuster, they may be motivated to close out your claim faster because they need to move on. You could look at the situation as having the advantage of unlimited time to get what you want. 

Be Prepared

Good negotiators are always prepared. You need to know the facts and be able to support your argument for whatever it is you want. 

Don’t go into the situation unprepared or relying on emotional arguments. 

Get as much information ahead of time as you can, not just about your part of the situation but about the other side. Try to understand their situation and perspective before you begin negotiations. 

Focus On The Pressure The Other Side Is Feeling

Often when it comes to negotiations, we think about the pressure we face, but we don’t consider that the other side is facing that and perhaps then some. You want to make sure that you’re not focusing on your limitations. Instead, focus on the other side’s limitations. 

Reframing your perspective goes a long way to being a more adept negotiator. Once you can change your mindset and refine your skills, being a negotiator is something likely to be valuable throughout so many areas of your life. 


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