Tiger Woods has said that he is in a quest to constantly improve and be the best – I think he made it! How does he do it? By keeping an open mind to new ideas and concepts, then applying the concepts and practicing. In Woods' case recently he needed an open mind to a new grip and a new stance. Once he had these, then he practiced, practiced, practiced. Practice builds confidence. So how does this apply to business negotiation, you ask?
It takes confidence to negotiate well. Practice is one of the keys to negotiating with confidence. As you gather and verify information through the course of the lifecycle of your deal, assemble the information in the negotiation blueprint. Check the data built into the blueprint to ensure that you have really considered the deal from your own viewpoint and from the perspective of your buyer(s). The blueprint is a great tool to organize your thoughts.
Thinking about what would make a good deal for both sides is part of your negotiation preparation. Test new ideas and concepts about what would make a good deal for both sides with your buyer(s) before the time to formally negotiate. Typically the buyer will not consider this discussion to be a negotiation – it shouldn’t be. You are just testing ideas with an open mind to what the customer says. Sometimes the customer comes up with great ideas about what would make a good deal. Or the customer discussion could help you to uncover new ideas and concepts about what would make a good deal for both sides. This helps takes pressure off price during a negotiation.
Using the blueprint to identify possible trades is very helpful. The blueprint is also used to develop offers from the list of possible trades. This should further stimulate your thinking about a good deal for both sides, you and the customer.
But even with a good set of well constructed offers, the negotiation could become a price discussion if you are not fully prepared. That preparation means practice. It is critical to practice presenting your offers in an impactful way, ensuring to link your value to what is important to the customer. Practice builds confidence and can have a big impact of the success of your negotiation.
In your own quest to constantly improve don’t forget the value of keeping an open mind to new ideas and concepts, and practice, practice, practice. Practice is one of the best ways to negotiate with confidence.