A common pitfall for negotiators is going in with a firm and fast idea of the result they’re looking to achieve.
While defining your goals is crucial, focusing on one ideal solution can close your mind to other alternatives and see you hit a standstill if the other party has different ideas.
Take the time to clearly define what you really need to achieve from the negotiation – not what you want or the solution you would prefer, but concrete needs.
KNOW YOUR ISSUE
Defining clearly what the problem is that you’re looking to overcome, and isolating that problem from other factors, is another crucial step in preparing for a negotiation.
In this pre-negotiation phase it’s often a good idea to enlist the help of someone you trust. This person can be used as a sounding board to bounce ideas off, and can also help dig down to discover what your true wants are and what the issue is from your perspective.
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Once you’re clear on what you’re heading into the negotiation to achieve, it’s important to go in with the right mindset.
“In competitive industries especially, there is always pride and personality that gets in the road, and people’s attitudes and pain points. People are concerned about leaving themselves vulnerable – we
are all human at the end of the day and negotiation is similar to any relationship in that sense,” Bayada says.
A crucial part of getting the negotiation process moving is to state your objectives up front. Using cooperative and collaborative language and ensuring you are actively listening to the other party – rather than concentrating on your next move – will help to move the process along.
KEEPING ON TRACK
Once the ideas start flowing and solutions start coming to the table, it’s important to thoroughly test any solution before going ahead.
Time is of the essence in any mortgage deal, and indeed any business deal. When deadlines are involved it’s essential to check in regularly to ensure the other parties involved are keeping on track, Bayada advises.
“It’s always good to check in two or three days before any deadline to see how it’s going. Don’t let things get to boiling point and have someone say, ‘Oh, actually I haven’t really had time in the last week’.”
And this checking in extends to post-negotiation too – something that many otherwise successful negotiators forget.
“A very easy thing to do is wrap up negotiations and walk away,” Bayada says. “A lot of people will leave negotiations with the best intentions but they’ll never follow through on those actions.”
Follow-up times will vary with the type of negotiation and relationship, but a good general rule of thumb is to contact the other party in writing about the results of the discussion within 24 hours.
After the initial written follow-up it’s a good idea to set up a checkpoint around a week later.
Negotiation tactics will vary from broker to broker, Bayada says, but going into a negotiation with a clear understanding of your purpose and an open mind to listen to that of the other party will serve you well in any tricky situation that may arise in business or life.
Whether you’re haggling with the banks, disputing a valuation, dealing with aggregators, bosses, employees or clients – or just trying to get the kids into bed – business coach Lynda Bayada offers strategy tips to get the best solutions for you and your business.