5 Basic Negotiating Tactics
Posted by Sarah B. on July 26, 2017 in Retail Focus

Negotiating is something that anyone who operates a business has to do on a monthly, weekly, or even a daily basis. In order to run your business effectively, you need to make sure you are negotiating well.


Whether with an employee, a customer, a partner, a vendor, or a supplier, it is important to know what you want heading into the conversation and what you may be willing to give up in order to reach your goal.


Here are some negotiating tactics that may be helpful to you:


  1. Pre-plan. Consider what you know about the situation and the person. If there is data that you can use, make sure you take a printed copy or two with you. Write things down or make really good mental notes so that something simple does not hold you back.
  2. Know your priorities and your alternatives. Determining your priorities may seem simple, but make sure you are not taking anything for granted or assuming that the other side will be logical. Alternatives can be just as important as priorities, especially if it turns out the individual(s) you are negotiating with are determined to get their way. Make sure you know what your best alternative to a negotiated agreement is and what the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement is.
  3. Know your focus. Listening is more than being silent and hearing what the other person is saying. It is paying attention to the words they use and knowing their meaning as well as their intent. As much as 85% of how someone communicates can be nonverbal. Check out this article: How To Better Position Yourself With Nonverbal Cues. Allow the other person to vent if they choose. This will require you to avoid being defensive. Venting will help them release their emotions and hopefully lead to a more logical conversation. Another tactic that can really be beneficial is brainstorming. Make a list of ideas without modification. When you are done brainstorming, you can consider the pros and cons. Be consistent in relaying what options you are willing to consider and what you are not. 
  4. Be flexible. If you have followed the points above, you know what you want and what your limits are, so being flexible refers more to how you operate. Know that you will need to be agile to have a competitive edge. Be prepared enough that you are confident in going with the flow. Keep an open mind. You may find out there was an option you hadn’t considered, and it is OK to take some time to consider it if necessary.
  5. Be honest. It is important to be honest with yourself. If you make assumptions or guesses about what you think will happen, you may not be honest with yourself. Considering “what if” situations can be helpful in preparations, but being sure that things will go one way or the other could lead you to underestimate the situation and get taken by surprise, which of course would be bad. In addition, be honest with the other individual(s) you are negotiating with. It allows you to demonstrate you are credible and will help foster a good rapport with them.
Sarah B. is our Retail guru
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.

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