Rules for Conducting Business Negotiations.

There are two approaches to conducting negotiations. The first is based on the idea that one should take a dominant position, seize the initiative, and become the master of the situation. The second, more contemporary approach, emphasizes a tolerant relationship between partners.

There are two approaches to negotiating. The first is based on the idea that one should take the dominant position, seize the initiative, become the master of the situation. For a long time this method was considered popular. There were written articles and books with recommendations on how to defeat, defeat the partner. The problem lies in the fact that your interlocutor also read all this. What then can such communication turn into? And most importantly — who benefits from it? Therefore, the second, modern, approach consists in a tolerant attitude between partners. Here favorable conditions are achieved not with the help of psychological tricks, but at the cost of reasonable argumentation and proof of the impeccable quality of their proposals.
One of the most important components of the success of the conversation is considered to be preparation, so first it is necessary to get maximum information about the subject of the conversation. It is necessary to clearly represent the existing situation in the market, know everything about the company with which the negotiations are to be held, as well as directly about the person with whom it is necessary to communicate. First of all, make a program-maximum — what you would like to achieve under the best circumstances — and program-minimum — the boundary beyond which further negotiations are no longer meaningful. It is necessary to have some spare options, some additional conditions that will not require you to spend a lot of money, but during the conversation can tip the scales in your favor.

You should not liken the negotiations to an Oriental bazaar, immediately «making» unrealistic demands for the partner and putting yourself in a more favorable position. It is better to prepare in advance one or more packages containing such conditions that seem reasonable to your partner.

At the stage of preparation, it is best to make a plan, as well as to provide options for the development of events. It is important not to let yourself be led away, not to allow yourself to be distracted. Extraneous conversations not only prevent you from focusing on the main thing, but also create some tension between you, because on the subject of the dialog you may have diametrically opposed points of view.

Some negotiations require the initial establishment of an agenda and rules of procedure, which are discussed long before the meeting or just before it. The course of the conversation should be recorded: audio or video recording is necessary for later analysis, and both parties must be given the opportunity to conduct it. The number of representatives from each organization should be the same, although it is better for one person to lead the conversation. During negotiations, you should not whisper, speak to your company’s representatives in a language unknown to your partners, exchange notes, etc.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your appearance: you should look like an organized person who can be trusted. The condition of the venue is also important. If it is your territory, you should keep it in exemplary order. A small excursion demonstrating the quality work of the company’s employees can also make a favorable impression. Of course, you and your partner should have enough time for this.

At the initial stage of negotiations, try to win the favor of the interlocutor. Here will be useful information about him, which you will be able to get. The most important thing is not to cause tension, irritation, etc. If you know nothing about your opponent, it is better to stick to the policy of the golden mean at first. Smile kindly, but with restraint. For starters, don’t make jokes, don’t shake hands too vigorously, and speak softly. After you have a good look at the person, behave accordingly. A friendly attitude will help you find common ground with your partner sooner.

When explaining your position, take your time. It is best to speak in a structured way, i.e. present each idea as a separate fact to make it easier for the listener to perceive. A clear statement will create a favorable impression of you. Do not saturate your speech with special terms, if you are not sure that they are understandable to the interlocutor. Periodically ask if there are any questions. Your task is to convey your idea to your partner. When it is time to speak to your partner, pay maximum attention. It is helpful to take notes and notes. Do not interrupt, distract, or argue: you will have a chance to speak.

Don’t start your answer from the negative side: there must be something in your partner’s speech that you like, so make a note of it. Start with points that you agree to accept without reservation. Show respect for your interlocutor, show how you listened attentively to him, quote some of his statements. This is necessary for the atmosphere of negotiations to remain friendly. It is not necessary to ingratiate yourself with your opponent. Having prepared the interlocutor, proceed to the objections. Do not forget to mention (no matter what result you are trying to achieve) that your main goal is to ensure the prosperity of both companies, as well as to strengthen the friendship between them.

If something seems unclear to you, don’t hesitate to ask questions and read carefully all the clauses of the proposal or upcoming contract. If you find it difficult to give an immediate answer or want to familiarize yourself with all the papers in detail, ask your business colleague for time to think about it. Don’t be fussy, don’t talk nonsense, just say that you need to think about it, perhaps consult with someone or look at the necessary documents.

Do not «overpay» for secrets! Be careful, if a person says that he has revealed all the cards to you, most likely he has something else hidden up his sleeve.

It is also worth mentioning the much-loved by many non-verbal signals. The first book on body language was published in our country about 15 years ago. During this time, everyone has read something on a similar topic. So deliberately «mirroring» your gestures, a person can be quite hostile to you, and the one who crossed his arms on his chest, perhaps trying to hide on the shirt stain from the sauce, put at lunch. Your intuition will perfectly catch all the signals, so focus directly on the course of negotiations, the words that say your interlocutor, and not try to unravel his hidden motives. Let a psychoanalyst do it.

You should not speak in an ultimatum form, put pressure on your partner, threaten or make your speech excessively emotional. The main thing — do not bring the negotiations to an impasse. This situation is easiest to solve if you translate general phrases into the plane of specific tasks. For example, the interlocutor responds to your proposal: «It’s not so easy! There may be difficulties!» Immediately specify which ones. Perhaps, if you solve one of the aspects, the partner will cope with the rest independently. Any seemingly impossible task can seem simple if you break it down.

Do not relax, even if you feel that the initiative is already on your side, do not let go of the reins, distractions, etc. Focus on your partner’s words and actions, which should make sense to you.

Negotiations have at least two perspectives: the near-term perspective (discussing a specific item or package) and the overall perspective. As you get caught up in the details, don’t forget how they fit into the big picture and what your overall position is. Take notes regularly, summarizing groups of positions before moving on to the next.

It is most convenient to sell a product or service in the form of a package, which is an already formed set that helps the seller to do his part of the work with the least labor input for himself (because he acts according to the worked out scheme). Try not to break up the package. If your partner insists, be sure to explain that the softness of some of the terms implied acceptance of the entire package, otherwise they will have to be made tougher. When it comes to the need to split the package, consider whether it is so profitable for you to sell part of it that you are willing to take such a step.

The same should be understood when the question of discounts, providing some additional services for the same fee, etc. comes up. The transaction itself will not remain between you. Therefore, if you sold a product (service) at such a price to one person, at the same price you will have to sell to everyone, and this can be not only economically disadvantageous, but also discredit the quality of your work.

Know that if the buyer allows himself statements like «I saw the same thing, but twice cheaper» and at the same time enters into negotiations with you, then his statement is groundless. In a situation where it is a matter of principle, be adamant.

If you act as a buyer, remember: the purpose of negotiations is to reach an agreement. To prevent your partner from refusing the deal, do not set him impossible conditions. To say that the same thing is cheaper elsewhere is to show yourself as an inadequate person. (Why did you come to a place where it is more expensive?) Therefore, it is better to talk about specific prospects and opportunities. If you are not able to pay for the entire purchase at once, discuss the terms of deferred payment. If the price seems overpriced to you agree on discounts or split the package, refusing from the components, Assume the terms of a favorable exchange, do not force the business partner to conclude a deal on disadvantageous terms for him.

In case the interlocutor has agreed to your demands too easily, don’t try to backtrack and make your terms more stringent or you will lose the deal.

No matter how the conversation ends, thank for the meeting, smile, say something nice, in other words, part as friends. Do not forget to carefully analyze the whole course and results of the negotiations.

Your partner can apply to you various psychological techniques. There are a lot of ways to make it clear that you have not come to fight in tug-of-war games, but are striving to achieve a concrete result. The success of negotiations lies not in tricks, tricks and demonstration of her own strength, but in consistent elaboration of each point of the forthcoming agreement, sincere interest not only in the immediate benefit, but also in long-term cooperation.

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