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Leadership & Communication

The power of persuasion: developing negotiation skills

12 Jul 2013, by Informa Insights

Negotiation in business training courseBeing able to negotiate effectively is a vital workplace skill, whether you are a boardroom executive forging an important deal or an employee attempting to secure a pay rise.

For some people, the art of persuasion comes naturally, while others feel uncomfortable at the thought of confrontation, but here are some top tips that should benefit any individual looking to improve their negotiation skills.

Do your homework

Confidence is convincing, and one of the best ways to guarantee you enter into any negotiation with maximum assurance is to thoroughly research the topic at hand.

Whether you are talking to clients, customers or colleagues, you need to be prepared to answer any questions they throw at you.

Providing evidence or examples of how your ideas will benefit all parties involved is paramount – but make sure your claims are truthful and can be verified.

Listen and respond accordingly

It can be tempting to try to assert your dominance during a negotiation, and while there will be times when this is true, it is just as important to listen as it is to talk.

Not only will this give you unspoken cues about their intentions through body language, but how they describe their needs will give you an idea of how much room you have to haggle.

The more people talk, the more they give away – and you may find they negotiate themselves out of a deal without much pressure from you.

Strive for a win-win outcome

Negotiations can be fraught with emotion, which could get in the way of securing an agreement that benefits everyone.

Consider the other party’s stance, what you would do in their position, and attempt to come up with a solution where everyone can walk away happy.

Remember, negotiation is a two-way street and although you’ll want to ensure the outcome skews in your favour, talks may reach an impasse if you aren’t willing to concede anything.

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