It doesn’t matter if you’re an established business owner, a budding entrepreneur, or an employee. At some point in your career, you’ve likely been in a situation where you have had to negotiate. It may have included a better business deal, a salary increase, or maybe even a promotion. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn how to negotiate better. Indeed, it’s a valuable skill not just in business but also in life.

There are courses that help you become a better negotiator. They focus on developing your confidence, as well as other ‘soft skills’ that are necessary for negotiating and building healthy relationships. For some quick tips, however, check out the list below.

1. Know Who You’re Negotiating With

One of the key ways to succeed in negotiating is to know who you will be negotiating with. Do your research about the company. Better yet, do your research about the person you’ll be talking to. You should also try to figure out what you think they would want from you, and whether you can accommodate them. If there are going to be multiple people involved, focus on the main decision-maker but don’t forget those who might be able to influence the decision. The more you know about the other party, the more confident you will be when you enter the boardroom.

2. Make the First Offer

Making the first offer, which some experts refer to as “anchoring,” is highly beneficial during negotiations. This is because the first offer receives arguably the most attention; thus, it can skew the decision in its favour. Simply put, making the first offer puts you in a position of control.

3. Learn How (and When) to Listen and Stay Quiet

Remember that an opportunity for negotiation is, at its core, simply a conversation. Therefore, you shouldn’t just talk. You should also learn how to listen. Indeed, when you stay quiet and listen actively, you’ll find out more about the other person and what they want out of the deal. Listening is the best way to understand the “opponent,” so to speak. In addition, listening intently shows that you respect what the other party has to say. This puts you in their good graces and can result in a better deal.

Learning how and when to stay quiet is also beneficial in negotiations. Don’t give too much away. More importantly, don’t talk yourself out of a good deal. At times, remaining silent can actually help you get the best results.

4. Look at Their Body Language (and be Mindful of Yours)

Aside from the words they’re saying, you should also pay attention to the other party’s body language. Do they have difficulty in establishing eye contact? Do they gesture a lot? Do linger too much on their mistakes? These can be indicative of their level of confidence. Don’t just pay attention to the other person or persons, however. Be mindful of your own body language, too. Signs of overconfidence can be just as bad as a display of nerves.

5. Evaluate Yourself

No matter how well you prepare, you still can’t predict the outcome of any negotiation. That’s because you can’t control how others will act and react as the negotiation goes on. As such, it’s still best to do something about the things you can control: your own actions and skills. Evaluate yourself. Try to spot habits that get in the way of you getting the deal you want and work on changing those. Of course, you should also work on developing necessary skills like verbal communication and active listening.

6. Find a Compromise

If you give something away during a negotiation, make sure to get something in exchange. Find a compromise instead of conceding. Get to that middle ground where both parties walk away feeling good about the outcome.

Remember that the most successful negotiation is the one where everyone is happy in the end. If there is one “winner,” then the other party will definitely feel like they have been dealt the ‘short end of the stick’. As such, when you negotiate, the ultimate goal is to reconcile the wants, needs, and visions of all parties. It takes some practice to become a successful negotiator. Keep these tips and in mind the next time you are planning your negotiation. If you want to learn more, and gain more expertise, why not enrol in our training courses. Improving your negotiatingskillswill bring success for you and your organisation.