Five Exercises to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiator

By guest blogger, Nick Rojas

Want to improve your negotiation skills? You certainly can, utilizing these exercises during daily negotiations.

Negotiations are a big part of life, and you may not even realize it. You negotiate at home, work, the gym and even with the family pet. Negotiations simply can’t be avoided.

Harnessing the power of negotiation skills should not be avoided either. People who possess powerful negotiation skills get the most out of life. But being a savvy negotiator does not always mean someone has to lose.

“A good negotiator will work toward a win-win scenario, always considering the deal from the other side’s perspective,” according to Fortune.

How do you become a powerful negotiator? Employ these exercises to enhance your negotiation skills, and get the win-win in nearly every aspect of life.

1. Negotiation Skills Begin with Saying No

The word “no” is not something most people say very often. You may have trouble saying no to your friend who needs help moving, or someone who wants to cut the line at the supermarket.

However, saying no is an essential exercise for honing your negotiation skills. Saying no more often will allow you to become more comfortable with saying it, and you will be more successful.

Warren Buffett says, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”

2. Exercise Your Research Muscle

Research is another vital aspect of honing your negotiation skills. Before you approach any negotiation, you need to have done your due diligence.

Whether you are buying a new sofa or closing a million dollar business deal, research is at the forefront. Exercise your research muscle by learning best practices.

You want to become a master at following breadcrumbs that will get you the answers you need for the win-win at any negotiation table.

3. Become a Body Language Expert

You may have heard that nonverbal communication accounts for 90 percent of communication. Some believe this to be true, and some think it’s less, explains Dr. Jeff Thompson in a Psychology Today article.

Whether nonverbal communication is 90 percent, or 55 percent, it is an important element of your negotiation skills.

Excessive blinking and uncomfortable shifts in a chair are subtle hints that can give you better insight into another person’s mind and decision making process.

Unfortunately, the only way to use this exercise is to practice a lot. If you like people watching, you are in for a treat. Start with people you know, and expand to strangers when you’re ready for a challenge.

4. Practice Makes Perfect, Employ Negotiation Skills Everywhere

Practice certainly makes perfect, and this remains true when developing your negotiation skills. The more you negotiate, the more savvy and confident you will become.

Exercising your negotiation skills everywhere will make you a better speaker, and you will also begin building a rhythm in each negotiation. From doing the dishes to the boardroom, never stop negotiating.

5. Negotiation Skills Depend on Your Active Listening Abilities

Active listening is one of the most essential elements of becoming an expert negotiator. You may think you’re a great listener. However, “listening” and “active listening” are actually quite different.

You need to paraphrase, inquire, and acknowledge for powerful active listener development. Active listening will allow you to ask crucial questions and respond to your negotiation partners in a meaningful way.

According to Harvard School, “The skillful negotiator orchestrates these aspects of active listening to draw out the other party’s concerns and feelings, with an eye toward asserting his own viewpoint and engaging in joint problem-solving.”

Exercise those negotiation skills and become more confident in every aspect of life. You will find success following those newly honed negotiation skills, and you will begin negotiating everything. Personal and professional development are important, so take a powerful approach with negotiation.

Need more help boosting your negotiating skills? Check out our webinar, Getting to a Win-Win: How to Hone Your Negotiation Skills, presented by P.J. Timmins of TAB Ireland.

 

How Business Psychology Can Help You Gain Customers

happy worker holding sandwiches at the backery

By Guest Blogger, Eileen O’Shanassy

There is a ton of psychology involved in doing business, and as a business owner you must understand that people behave in certain ways and can be influenced with the right triggers to purchase your products or services. There are many examples of how to use basic psychology to get more customers and if you are savvy, you can use these to your advantage as you market. If you want more information, check out applied psychology programs online or courses where you can learn these skills in a business sense.

Using Social Proof
When people have an opinion on something, you will put more weight into that opinion even if they didn’t conduct any in-depth research and haven’t compared the pros and cons. Businesses use social proof in the form of reviews, ratings, social media mentions, and buzz to bring attention to their products and services. They know that if they build a positive conversation around their business, it’ll create a momentum that will attract new customers. Use positive reviews like these to improve your customer reach and to market your business more easily.

Using Authority
You are more likely to trust a business if some kind of authority is attached to them. For example, if you see an endorsement given by a well-known figure or celebrity, you are more likely to trust the company that’s being endorsed. Sometimes the authority is built around reputable roles like doctors, law enforcement, physical trainer, etc. If you can establish authority around your business, you’ll increase your credibility and make it easier for new customers to trust you.

Scarcity
A psychological trigger that you often see used in infomercials is scarcity. People are generally attracted to things that are harder to get. Some get emotionally worked up by the possibility of losing something valuable. Infomercials often use this trigger by building up value in bonuses and discounts. The kicker is that the bonuses and discounts are only available for a limited time. This creates scarcity and often triggers customers to buy when they may not have done so under normal circumstances.

While psychology is an incredible way to gain customers, you still need to realize that your customers are people too. Don’t insult your audience by making it obvious that you’re trying to use a gimmick to get them to make a purchase. You have to walk a fine line and embed psychology into your communication in a way that is respectful while also impactful. Consumers have become more educated about marketers over the last few decades, so it’s important to learn how to use psychology the right way for the right products.

Need more advice on gaining more customers? Find out if the collective wisdom of a peer-advisory board is right for your business.