Table of contents
- Negotiation skills
- Key steps of negotiation
- Discuss and explore options
- Call a break if you need
- Reach agreement
Negotiation is the process of dealing with other people. Negotiation is a process in which two or more than two parties make an agreement to achieve their business goals. In a negotiation process, both parties define their aims and find a solution for their mutual interests. Making a deal and agreeing to it can be formulised in the contract forms with all legal requirements. It is an open and vivid process in which interested parties or stakeholders try to find out the middle way which is acceptable for both parties. Competent negotiation is crucial in a business when both parties have different point of views and every party intends to take their own benefit. The best outcome is a settlement that solves disputes.
Negotiation can occur when there is more than one consequence from a situation in which two or more parties have an attention to achieve their goals, but they have not yet resolved them and don’t know what the result will be. It can happen among buyer and seller or in a diverse business communication.
Its main aim is to smooth the negotiation process and avoid or manage the conflicts by discussing the concerns with each other. It means to formally discuss with someone in order to reach an agreement. The main aim of negotiation is to find out an acceptable solution for both parties. It is a battle with each side aiming to get the best deal but not at all cost; the opposition is not likely to be a good idea, perhaps you need to deal with them in the future making sure that the other party also finds something valuable from the negotiation. So, in this way, both parties have a good chance to build a long-term relationship and sometimes it is even more important than the outcome of a single negotiation. Finally, they have a fair and straight forward method to deal or arrange business terms and conditions. It builds a good relationship with each other, establishes a long-term relationship and builds confidence to deal fairly without any concerns. Both parties can trust and respect each other and try to accommodate each other which is a necessity for the business. Both parties gain equal advantages.
Stakeholders are the people who have some interests or are affected directly or indirectly in any way during the negotiation. Stakeholders are those who can meaningfully impact or are essential for the success of an outcome. During negotiation, key stakeholders are the groups engaged in the bargaining process and then equally coming all together to a deal. Basically, they facilitate the whole negotiation process. Stakeholders are responsible for taking place the process of negotiation by communicating the necessity of participating into a contract and the possible consequences of that deal which were expecting as a negotiation result. They are people chosen to communicate on behalf of a company or firm in a negotiation process. For example, negotiation is a part of every business and it makes it possible for the companies to get more profit and expand their business. During negotiation different types of results can face the negotiators, they decide on equal benefits which is a win- win situation, win and lose situation or fail the negotiation which is lose-lose situation for both parties. In the case of ASDA business deals, they will fix their price per item, quality and time of the product distribution with their suppliers always focusing to get the best deal for their customers. In the deal, they have a time set to renew the deals, terms and conditions to breach the deals. For example, in Brexit negotiation, both parties, UK and Europe, are stakeholders and they have their own representatives. Those representatives are working hard to settle down the situation by conducting different meeting /sessions. By dialogues, they are intending to get better results ,resolve disputes and reach an agreement by providing an alternative way which is beneficial for both UK and Europe. There negotiation process is still ongoing.
Negotiation is very simple and can be seen on a daily basis. Every single individual can negotiate to achieve or fulfil their aims and objectives, but it demands some specific and concise skills which enhance the validity and credibility of that process. Good negotiation must leave a positive impact on each party convincing them with the outcome of the discussion and preparing to do business for a second time. Interpersonal skills such as good communication skills, patience, confidence, flexibility and good planning can enhance the negotiation process.
Good communication skills help the parties to negotiate effectively because convincing people only depends on your conversation. Patience gives an authority to listen carefully and calmly and to whatever they want to say. It is better to ask and discuss confidently. Clear communication and positive body language help to deal efficiently. It is better to write down all the necessary information, set a guideline for negotiation and avoid wasting time and energy. Try to succeed in the dealing process by being flexible because it is not a single person’s decision, but many people or parties are involved so it is for the sake of both parties and both want to take advantage of it. It is not possible for them to make a deal on their own terms and conditions.
Key steps of negotiation
Negotiation is not a single session process and sometimes it needs a series of sessions to get its desired outcomes. Both parties try to achieve their targets without conflicts and in case of any conflicts they try to get a middle way which is best or acceptable for both parties.
The main attention is to create the goals and preferences, and this is possible only by discussing generally instead of specifically. Making different proposals and using the answers to conclude their goals and preferred results. The main steps you need to take before any negotiation are:
- Full preparation
- Setting clear goals
- Understanding the other party’s way of working
- Time, place and information about negotiation team
- Planning and preparation
Conducting an effective business negotiation needs good planning and preparation which will help to be more specific and realistic to achieve the goals. It is important to set a time and venue before any further plans. The best way to note down all the objectives is to put them in an order by priority. Then it would be very easy to classify them as must achieve, intend to achieve and like to achieve. Gathering information as much as possible about the discussion topic or subject, increases the chances of success. It helps to understand the possible issues during negotiation and negotiators thinks about their solutions beforehand and more useful solutions can be established.
A good preparation creates a confidence between both parties. It makes easy to explain and understand each other’s point of view. It saves time and increases the success chances. Lack of preparation shows non serious behaviour and increase the chances of failure. Preparation will give an idea to achieve the exact goals and aims. Undertaking preparation before discussing will help to avoid further conflicts and unnecessarily wasting time during the meeting.
Discuss and explore options
At the beginning of the meeting it is very crucial to explore others’ needs and requirements and make an attractive opening offer. Requirements should be more realistic and specific so that the discussion will be successful because both parties contribute. If one party collaborates and the other does not, then issues will be raised. Every issue should be negotiated and dealt in a proper way. This will allow the parties to develop a good relationship between them. A friendly discussion helps to identify their needs and helps to keep things moving. Discussing the issues develop an understanding to know about both parties’ interests, visions, objectives, roles, their stakes in the negotiation. They create a friendly relationship which helps to manage the issues confidently and calmly. Discussion also helps the negotiators to evaluate the issues that can be raised by any party and make it possible to resolve them successfully. Some negotiations are very difficult and create many problems. These issues may differ from negotiation to negotiation.
Discussions provide equal opportunities for both parties so that they can present their case effectively. Developing and maintaining a good relationship can be managed through discussion. Both parties understand the value of collaboration and gain their best objectives by trusting each other. It is very important to build confidence at the first stage to make an agreement for their future deals and long term relationships, otherwise, they will not be able to work altogether.
Both parties have an opportunity to assess the others proposal, position and suggestions as they can be made and received in negotiation. They can get advice and seek help from each other for their mutual benefit. This phase provides an opportunity to both parties to make a good impression through proposal and shows flexibility which is essential to get a great advantage in business deals. This negotiation stage provides a chance to make their goals, interests and viewpoints beforehand. They discuss from every aspects and get a clear picture to deal with each other, reduce the chances of future misunderstandings and confusions because both parties have a deep understanding regarding each other’s interests and have a chance to convince each other and have a chance to think about their behaviour and attitudes. However, it takes time but gives long term consequences.
This stage closely links to the aims and objectives of entering into an agreement in a negotiation process. It demands the basic strategy applied to convince and influence the other party regarding the demand placed by negotiators. For this, they need more tactical and good communication skills to clearly state the views and opinions in their favour. Having all types of information in hand it is easy to bargain.
After discussing each other’s requirements and exchanging information, it is easy to bargain, so asking more results leads to more benefits. For example, if a company wants to sell their product at £50, it is better to bargain from £80 instead of directly saying £50. In this way, negotiators can get better deals. If conflicts occur, then they need to resolve the issues by explaining their opinions very clearly instead of ending the negotiation process. Having a clear concept to make an offer instead of using “approximately” or “about” will give a lack of sincerity or commitment. If the other party makes an offer, then make sure that this offer is matching your criteria; if you have a doubt then it is better to ask for more clarification.
Bargaining in business deals or negotiations is very valuable because it reduces the risks of dominancy. Both parties consider each other’s value and importance and stay on the same pitch which shows equality and same rights in the deal.
Call a break if you need
Short break during negotiation process enhances personal abilities and negotiator have time to remind each thing and give an opportunity to look steadily, solve issues under the discussion and come back with new ideas if the negotiation is happening in a tense or complex environment.
It is also called a closing phase and it provides an excellent opportunity to show or formulate in order to manage their whole activities in the earlier stages, from the planning stage to the bargaining stage. This stage provides a summary of all conducted activities or sessions in a written form. At this stage both parties close their presentation by offering their goals. They gather all data and very carefully analyse their data to get the best deal which can be helpful to an agreement with the other party. This is the basic representation of a meeting which includes not just the motivations, needs, proposals and skills of the negotiators but a diversity of marginal issues. The environment and culture in which the negotiation is taking place includes the power balance and along this, any previous history of contact, conflict or expectations. During a negotiation, many things can happen and need to get handled considering and stating your own needs. Making sure that the negotiators understand exactly what they are saying and show a quick and valuable response. After doing all the necessary formalities, they find a solution to agree or disagree with each other. Finally, both parties sign the deal/ agreement.