21 Powerful Ways to Out-Negotiate Anyone

1. Preparation is the single most important element in successful negotiations. Information is power. The more relevant the information, the better your position. You can't over prepare. It's impossible. Give yourself enough time to prepare before you go into any kind of negotiation.

2. Learn the needs of your "candidate". Here we are of course talking about your prospect, who is the other party in the negotiation.

3. Switch seats mentally. If you were this other person - what would you see them gaining or desiring to gain from this negotiation? Write down as many possible goals you can think of. Prioritize your list in the order that you believe your candidate would. Identify the items you are willing to negotiate and those items which are non-negotiable.

4. Anticipate how you will handle those areas where your product or service is weak. Work to strengthen your case. In those areas that remain vulnerable, prepare how you wish to handle them should they arise.

5. Write down the outcome you wish - Bigger orders? Longer contract? More money? Access to broader markets? Make a list of those things you would like to receive as a result of the negotiations. Refine and prioritize your list before starting the negotiation. Identify the items you are willing to negotiate and those items which are nonnegotiable.

6. Never Lie. Very few negotiations are a single contact event. With the possible exception of making large purchases, most parties involved in a negotiation have continued contact after the negotiations are completed. When you are caught in a lie, and it is inevitable that you will be, your future credibility will be lost.

7. Be Fair. Negotiation is not an "I win, you lose" proposition. The best negotiators know to create "win - win" situations in every negotiation.

8. Keep your desires hidden. Uncertainty is your key advantage in most negotiations. If your adversary knows what you desire most, your negotiating position is not as strong. Play it close to the vest.

9. Be Flexible. Understand that negotiation frequently involves compromise. Look for creative solutions to the problems presented in the negotiation. Make tradeoffs in order to gain those elements you most desire.

10. Build trust, and gain agreement on aligned issues. Stress your commitment and credibility, as well as your expertise, competence and ability to be reasonable.

11. Resist the urge to compete. It is easy to get caught up in the competitive spirit of a negotiation. Remember that the point of negotiation is to reach a common agreement on how to move forward. While it may be possible to bludgeon your adversary into agreeing to your terms, this does not create the "mutual agreement" that makes for a truly successful negotiation.

12. Conflict can be constructive and positive. Some level of conflict is inevitable; disagreement and conflict are a natural part of the negotiation process. The give and take of different points of view serve a purpose, helping determine what is important to each party. Institute a reasonable challenge. Working through conflict clarifies thinking and the needs, not just the wants or interests, of the other party.

13. Use inclusive phrases and "if" statements. Like if I can get you this delivery date -then will you agree to this amount of orders?

14. Stop once the goal is met. Too many salespeople have to see just how far they can push a negotiation. They have to try to get just one more concession. This attitude can be a deal breaker. The best negotiations are brief and to the point. Get agreement on your major points and stop.

15. Know when to conclude. And when you do conclude, hold you ground pleasantly. Be patient. Don't press too quickly for closure. Allow some quiet reflection, time to consider what is on the table.

16. Remain objective and focused on your priorities. In most negotiations, patterns can be distinguished relative to the terms of "give and get," such as giving, giving if getting and so forth. Remember, conflict is only disagreement, and it's a necessary part of the negotiation process.

17. When you get stuck, take a break, make a small concession or offer to meet halfway. Suggest integrative solutions, which are more likely to facilitate moving forward. Never be adversarial, but rather explore possibilities and continue to extend the same flexibility and understanding you are hoping to receive.

18. Recap. Once a satisfactory agreement is arrived at, summarize it. Conclude with a positive statement about the agreement and an expression of your appreciation. Verbal agreements should always be confirmed in writing.

19. Use tact and diplomacy. Make it your personal creed when engaged in negotiation to "save face" on behalf of the other party.

20. Stay open minded. Your mind is like a parachute; it must be open to be effective. Listen actively and keep an open mind rather than deal from a position of entrenched antagonism


21. Leave out the manipulative tactics. No more good cop/bad cop routine. Stop the constant interruptions or distracting gestures. Just be yourself but be calm, logical and unemotional.

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