You will get better at it
Negotiating is like public speaking—you get better at it with practice, age and time. So the more you shy away from it, the less you will be preparing yourself for the future. Negotiating can be complicated as it has to do with defending your interests while showing that you respect the interests of the party you are dealing with. This can feel contradictory and therein lies the difficulty. How is one to gain a feeling of value without appearing like you are taking away from others in a transaction?
Do your reasearch: Knowledge is power, and knowing who you’re negotiating with and what their assets are can be a massive help when trying to get what you want.
Sir Richard Branson
Fairness and balance
One of the most important things about a negotiation is striking a deal that is fair to both sides. Both sides should walk away with a feeling of success. It is so important to be fair and reasonable. Who knows when you are going to run into someone again, work with them again or engage in negotiations again? You may need this person, want something from them sooner than you think. An unfair negotiation for the other party could burn a bridge that would be dreadful to try to repair down the road. Reputation is everything.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airways once had to deal with Delta Airlines; where Delta in an effort to fix a clause in a contract reached out to Virgin Airways. It is something that Richard Branson says he will never forget. As a result this has opened doors for both Virgin and Delta in ways that could never have been imagined had negotiations and trust not been paramount for the parties involved.
Stand up and mind your reputation
Everybody wants to make a deal
I used to have a scooter that I needed to sell. I put an ad out and met buyer after buyer without making a sale. We would talk over the phone, then we would meet up. Buyers kept walking away promising to think about it. I was fed up and didn’t know what to do. The price was right, but the transaction just wasn’t happening. A good friend of mind reminded me of one crucial element: giving someone a deal. He said “I know your price is right, but you still need to give someone the feeling that they’re getting a deal.” With that in mind, I knew what to do. Even though the scooter cover was in included in the description, I decided to take it out. When it was time to meet up with the next potential buyer, I told the person mid-way through our conversation that I would throw a scooter cover in for free. The buyer liked that. “Really? Thanks!” …and the deal was made.