Negotiation sounds like a business term, but do you realise that negotiation is a skill that we all can regard as part and parcel of our daily lives?
For example, when your child wants a bar of chocolate, you would tell your child to finish up his or her homework and would reward him or her with the bar of chocolate if it were being carried out.
That is negotiation.
When you are supposed to meet your friends for dinner but you have to be running late because you are still caught up at work. You inform them to let you know where they will be heading to for dinner, and inform them that you will meet up with them at the place itself right after work.
That is negotiation.
You need to take a day leave for a family occasion such as a wedding or an emergency, but your boss still requires you to station at work to complete a task before the due date.
You still need to inform him or her the importance of you taking your leave, but instead of a day of leave, you can request for half a day of leave, or time-off. In this way, you most probably would be able to complete your task on time, and yet manage to attend to the important matters arising your family.
That is negotiation.
But whether it is a business negotiation or a personal negotiation, you would still need to acquire the imperative negotiation skills. In the context of negotiation, you are supposed to come to a consensus between you and the other party.
In the end, it becomes a win-win situation for both parties. So what does it take to achieve this? When making business dealings, the first thing you are most encouraged to do is pre-negotiation.
This is where you make preparations as to your purpose of negotiation and what you wish to achieve at the end of it. This can be done by means of writing.
You should also include the possible queries that the other party could bombard you with. This can contribute to a more professional way of settling the matter.
Most importantly, to make certain that the negotiation runs smoothly, you must display your confidence and authority. But that does not mean you control every single thing that revolves around the matter. Remember, you want to come to a consensus with the other party.
Let’s take the previous example of your child wanting a bar of chocolate and you wanting him or her to finish his or her homework.
Do you want your child to keep bugging you for the chocolate? Do you want your child to take full control of you all the time? I don’t think so. So this is where you get a little but authoritative and appear confident of what you are doing. You do not feel like you are doing any harm to him or her. You just want him or her to finish the homework.
But at the same time, even you should not take full control of your child’s actions. Your child should not be deprived of his or her likings for chocolates. So you come up with a ‘deal’.
You make sure that the child does his or her homework. Take a look at his or her workbook. Can you see that the homework is done prim and proper? If that is the case, like you have promised, you would buy him or her the bar of chocolate.
So are you both gaining from this?
Yes.The child gets the chocolate, while you feel relieved that the child has completed the homework. There you have it! A win-win situation.
The same concept applies when making business dealings.
Let us say… you are a salesperson who promoted an oven for sale. You even conducted a demo on how effective the oven is by baking a cake.
A customer, upon viewing the demo, seems keen on it and wishes to buy the oven from you. A purchase is then made, and the receipt has been given.The next day or two, the same customer comes back and files a complaint about the oven, claiming that the oven is not working the way you had explained and demonstrated.
In view of the matter, the customer returns the receipt and demands for a money refund.
Would you abide by the customer’s demands and let yourself lose the profits that you initially gained, or would you find an idea to resolve the matter, such that both you and the customer would head for home happy?
You would prefer the second option right? But how does it work then? What you can do is to conduct another demonstration of the cake baking, but this time, use the oven that was bought by the customer. See the results!
Is it a positive or negative one? If it were positive, the customer would have no reason to return the oven back right? Then discuss with the customer as to why the cake did not turn out even though the oven was working as normal. You can probably suggest to her that she could have forgotten an important ingredient in the cake. Maybe baking powder!
If that is true, you can confidently explain to her that she needs to include baking powder so that the cake will rise the way it should be. Well, that sounds as if she lost the case. But you should not make her feel like a loser.
Instead, do something that can make her even at an advantage. Give her a free recipe book customized by the company you are working in that consists of all the tasty cakes that she can try to bake back home.
So there you have it! Another win-win situation. She still gets to keep the oven and also a free recipe book that allows her to try other varieties of cakes, and you get to keep the profits gained from the sale and best of all, convince her once again that your oven is constantly of high quality!
The art of negotiation is never a piece of cake, but if you can acquire the confidence and power to settle a matter, the negotiation can be carried out smoothly and effectively.