Negotiating is part of life: whether you’re trying to get a lower price on your new car or you’re negotiating with a former spouse during a divorce. Most people don’t go about negotiating the right way, which leaves them unhappy with the results or unable to come to an agreement at all.
If you’re new to negotiating or want to improve, the attorneys at The Doyle Law Group, P.A. have put together our top ten negotiation tactics to help you reach settlements both parties can be happy with.
Top Ten Negotiation Tactics
1. Be Prepared
If you’re not prepared, it will show as soon as negotiations start. Ready your argument and research what the other side will be pursuing. What are they asking for and what are their options? Knowing this information will allow you to more effectively argue your position and reduce the chances of them surprising you during negotiations.
2. Listen To the Other Party
Listening is one of the most overlooked negotiation tactics, but an extremely important one. After all, you can’t efficiently argue if you don’t know what the other person is saying. Take the time to listen and you’ll be in a better position to understand where the other person is coming from and how to negotiate with them.
3. Be Patient
We’re impatient people, especially when we’re waiting for something we want. Rushing through a negotiation is never beneficial, though. Being flexible and patient is always a good thing, especially if the other party is in a hurry. An impatient person will likely concede to a more patient one just to bring negotiations to an end.
4. Aim High and Be Optimistic
You’ve probably seen movies or TV shows where two characters are negotiating and one asks for something big at the start then negotiates down to what they actually wanted. That’s not just a TV trope, it can be an effective negotiation tactic (within reason). Going into a negotiation with a positive attitude and aiming high puts you on the defensive from the start and lets the other party know that you won’t be lowballed. Part of your preparation should include gathering facts and evidence to support your first offer.
5. Show the Other Side How You Plan to Meet Their Needs
Letting the other side know how their needs will be met is one of the most important negotiation tactics. The person you’re negotiating with will be much more receptive to your argument if you show them you acknowledge what they’re asking for and that you plan to meet them somewhere in the middle. If you do this, they’ll be more inclined to help you meet your needs.
6. Avoid Unilateral Concessions
In other words, don’t give anything away without getting something in return. Giving something up once is a signal to the other person that you might do it again, which only encourages them to ask for more concessions. Not giving in to concessions forces them to compromise and come to more mutually beneficial agreements.
7. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Tensions and emotions can run high during negotiations, but don’t let that distract you. Focus on how to reach an agreement and try to ignore the other party’s behavior or other issues that might get in the way of making a deal.
8. Plan and Practice Rejections and Reactions
This is an especially important negotiation tactic if you’re new to negotiating and/or have trouble saying no to people. Chances are, you will have to say “no” at least once during your negotiation, and it’s very likely you’ll have to say it several times. Practice rejecting offers and how you’ll make your counteroffer.
When making a counteroffer, it’s best to mirror them. If you are $100,000 apart and he moves in increments of $1000.00, so should you. Match silly aggression with silly aggression. It’s the best way to deal with those types.
You must also consider where their first offer came in determining a reasonable counter. If your first offer was incredibly optimistic while theirs was reasonable, they have a right to move less and should expect to move more.
9. Be Prepared to Walk Away
Sometimes it’s not possible to come to an agreement that works for you. If you find that’s the case, don’t be afraid to walk away. Don’t feel like you have to cave to the other person’s demands or take a deal that is not beneficial. There is power in knowing when to walk away.
10. Formalize Your Agreement
If you came to an agreement, it is essential to get it writing and bind the parties to it. For this you may need an attorney if you did not have one already. All the terms must be included in writing and spelled out: deadlines, details, payments, and any conditions. Only an attorney with contract experience can draft a document and ensure its enforceability. If you are dealing with a sales agreement, make sure every part of the deal is included in one place, and do not under any circumstances let “trust me” or “that goes in the financing agreement later” or any other such promise talk into walking out without the whole deal written in one place and properly executed.
Let a Raleigh Divorce Attorney Negotiate Your Case
If you need professional expertise in dealing with negotiations, the family law attorneys at The Doyle Law Group, P.A. can help. To get started, just fill out the contact form on our website or call our Raleigh office at (919) 296-4017.
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