Negotiating in Life , Negotiating Tips January 25, 2010

Are you sure?

How sure are you when you walk into a business negotiation? Hopefully you are both confident of your negotiating skills and certain of your position. First, you must be certain of your position, because how can you negotiate on issues you are not sure about? Can you negotiate on price if you don’t know the margins you are seeking to attain or the budget you are trying to stick to? Second, you must be self-confident and be able to communicate your confidence...

How sure are you when you walk into a business negotiation? Hopefully you are both confident of your negotiating skills and certain of your position.

First, you must be certain of your position, because how can you negotiate on issues you are not sure about? Can you negotiate on price if you don’t know the margins you are seeking to attain or the budget you are trying to stick to?

Second, you must be self-confident and be able to communicate your confidence. The other party will react to your degree of confidence. Not only is important to be certain, it is important to make sure the other party understands whether or not you’re certain.

Remember that confidence is communicated verbally and non-verbally.

If you say: “Absolutely, that is the best we can do” the other party will hear your certainty and proceed accordingly. However, if you say “It appears that there is no room to negotiate further on price” the other party is hearing that you are not 100% certain, and therefore may continue to discuss the issue.

Many of us have verbal tics like starting sentences with phrases like “I think” or “Honestly” or “Like.” Some of these verbal tics can communicate ambivalence. Pay attention to how you are saying what you are saying.

Nonverbal behaviors and communication plays a large role in how others interpret our intentions, so how you act also communicates your degree of certainty. If you act nervously, the other party won’t trust your certainty or command of the situation. However, if you maintain good eye contact and appear calm, the other party will trust that you mean what you are saying.

Have you ever “lost” a business negotiation because of a confidence issue? Please share any stories about the importance of confidence.
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