“In all negotiations of difficulty, a person may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.” – Francis Bacon

In thinking of this month’s blog, I wanted to write about the hardest part of life, business or personal, and that is negotiating. The world is full of wise sayings regarding negotiating: how to get to YES, get past NO, win, gain an Advantage, close the deal, get leverage, influence or persuade others and so forth. But going out and doing it is much harder than any class or self-help book you read. There are 12 negotiation strategies I use every day.

Each month over the next year, I will lay out 1 of these 12 negotiation strategies to help you in any part of life, business or personal. After all, life itself is a negotiation. The strategies together are different than what most people believe negotiating means.

At 9DOTS we pride ourselves on thinking differently, thinking outside the box. Follow me on this journey, and together, we will use these negotiation strategies to GET MORE.

Negotiation Strategy #1: GOALS ARE PARAMOUNT

Goals are what you want at the end of the negotiation that you do not have at the beginning. Clearly, we need to negotiate to meet our goals. That sounds too easy. But many of us take actions that are contrary to our goals in order to settle. In a negotiation, you should not pursue relationships, win-win or anything else, because you think its an effective tool. Everything you do in a negotiation should bring you closer to your set goal. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant or damaging.

The point of negotiating is to get what you want. Why should you negotiate to create a relationship if it won’t help you meet your goal? Studies show that setting goals is the most important thing anyone can do for themselves.

Negotiation Strategies

First, decide what your goal IS, explicitly, at the beginning. And continue to remind yourself of that goal along the way. Too often, we do not complete the goal because we lose focus or get distracted.  How many times have you walked into a meeting and said, “What do you want at the end of this meeting that you do not have NOW?” Try it today. You will be amazed at the difference responses everyone will have. Even the slightest difference in the goals can wind up a mess in negotiation.

Not having a goal is like getting into your car and not knowing where you are going. Not checking your goals is like not checking the map along the way. People get distracted. New information emerges. Unless you check the goals at intervals, you are less likely to complete them. We had a goal with each one of our products, our newest being a money-saving Time Entry software. I asked myself “Are my actions meeting my goals?” And now they ARE. The product is out on the street, lowering operating costs for clients all over. Ask yourself if your actions are meeting your goals. This goes for business AND personal relationships.

Again, write down your goals. Check them often. I’d love your feedback on these negotiatiom strategies if you try this over the next month before meetings, conversations with family, etc. Did you know your goal heading into the conversation? Did you focus on the goal? How did it work out? I am starting you with just one strategy here, start using it. Imagine how successful you will be with your negotiation strategies once you learn all twelve!

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9DOTS CEO Connects the DOTS every month. Subscribe here (click Subscribe at the top left of the link) to our newsletter so you never miss a post.