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5 missteps to avoid while negotiating

The phrases skilled business negotiators avoid

Negotiations can be harsh sometimes, and business people end up having to deal with extremely unpleasant situations. Whenever your counterpart makes you lose your patience, you run the risk of saying something that can affect the course of the entire negotiation process.

A skilled negotiator has a couple of phrases that he says whenever he wants to makes sure that he’s got everything under control. The following list of things that shouldn’t be said during negotiations; they’re considered missteps and it’s important to avoid them.

Smiling group of business people
It can be all smiles and friendly faces, but they often hide the harsh realities of business negotiating

1. Avoid using the word “between”

You may sometimes be tempted to express yourself using this word. However, whenever you use throw out a certain range, your counterparts will choose the cheaper price. The word “between” encourages concessions, and a skilled negotiator will definitely make you concede ground without even giving you the chance to gain something in return.

2. “I think we’re getting close”

This line is usually used when negotiators are exhausted. For example, you may want to reach an agreement and you can use this line to make your counterpart understand that you’re ready to move forward. However, this crossroads should be avoided and you shouldn’t announce that you’ve arrived to this point unless the deal is in accordance with what you really want. An experienced negotiator will use this moment to stall, and will probably make you end up negotiating extra concessions. If you aren’t pressured by your superiors, you should avoid pointing out the fact that time goes by really fast. Instead, you should try to lead the negotiation to a point in which your opponents are as eager to close the deal as you.

Business women part of the team
Don't let the other side know that you're 'getting close', or you will lose an important advantage

3. “Why don’t you come up with a number?”

Most experts agree that a skilled negotiator should never rush into quoting a price. The other part should be the one that starts the bidding, as they will reveal their intentions and you will be implicitly provided with an advantage. However, recent studies have shown that the outcome of a negotiation is usually closer to the first offer made, than to the one that the other party was willing to achieve. Believe it or not, the first number you mention during a negotiation is the one that changes the entire negotiating process. Negotiations that start with an offer made by sellers usually end up with a higher settlement price than the ones in which the buyer comes up with the first offer.

4. ”I’m the one who makes the final decision”

Many negotiations start with a question related to the stakeholders of each side, and to the level of decision owned by the people involved. Most entrepreneurs can make choices without having to ask for the permission of their superiors, but this isn’t something that should be made public during a negotiation. Your counterpart should never know that you’re the one who makes the decisions because they will start to corner you. This line should definitely be avoided during high-stakes deals, since important decisions cannot be taken in a couple of minutes. In conclusion, your best choice would be that of acting as if you weren’t the one who makes the important decisions.

Business people busy discussing
Keep emotions out and stick to business only when negotiating, to avoid getting personal

5. Don’t use verbal abuse, it’s just business

A skilled negotiator knows that business is business, and that whatever happen, they must not take things personally. The whole situation should never affect you, while the stakes involved shouldn’t impress you. This step is effective when you have to negotiate with entrepreneurs, since they have the tendency to take everything personally. They see themselves as frank individuals, but they usually end up having thin skin.

Try to keep you calm during a negotiation even if your counterpart has said something offensive. Use your intelligence and pretend as if none of his counter-offers or selling tactics has annoyed you. This strategy will give you an advantage even if the other party becomes angry, and closing the deal will become easier than you’ve ever imagined.

All in all, a good negotiator doesn’t let his personal feelings get in the way of a business deal. Some words need to be avoided if you want to reach an agreement, and the best way of making sure that you’re not saying something wrong is to avoid the above mentioned missteps.

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