Commerce is impossible without negotiations. Well-developed diplomacy skills win the customer, help to build partnerships, and grow sales. The talks’ success depends on both professional experience and personal qualities: the ability to establish contact, listen to the opposite side, and find common grounds. The good news is that no one is born with negotiation skills; these are taught and practiced. Let us discuss the qualities of a successful negotiator and how to become one.
Personal and Professional Qualities Useful in Negotiations
The ability to establish contact with the interlocutor largely depends on personal qualities. Being active and energetic helps to attract attention and inspire trust. However, this is not enough. The salesperson must be well informed and competent, ready to answer any questions.
Often during negotiations, decisions must be made in the spur of the moment. Here, initiative and analytic mindset are triggered. The successful trader monitors the opponent’s train of thought, quickly reacts to it, and looks for bottlenecks in arguments. Nevertheless, negotiations do not always go smoothly. Misunderstandings and collision of the parties’ interests are possible. In this case, control your emotions so as not to get a negative result. Staying flexible is essential to come to a solution that will suit both parties.
Keen observation is also one of the crucial characteristics of a successful negotiator. It helps to notice the opponent’s reactions and draw timely conclusions. Here are some other qualities useful for effective sales:
- Empathy – putting you in the other side’s shoes and understanding what they want helps to reach the mutually beneficial consensus as fast as possible;
- Strategic thought – planning tactics and strategies for conducting a dialogue beforehand allows avoiding sudden pitfalls and unexpected moves;
- Rhetoric and oratory skills – mastering the culture of speech makes for a productive dialogue.
But personal qualities alone are not enough. For maximum results, practice your negotiation skills through training, courses, counseling, and exercises.
Five Tips to Make Your Negotiation Skills More Effective
To make the conversation/meeting effective, organize it like a volleyball match. That is, make it so that the “ball” never falls – the conversation is never interrupted by awkward pauses when no one has anything to say.
- Talk less, listen more
It may come as a surprise, but successful negotiators listen more than they speak. Many sales managers neglect this. The average person says at a rate of about 220 words per minute. However, the rate at which our brain digests the information is half less, at least. Failing to focus for a minute, you may lose the thread of the conversation altogether.
- Watch your body language
The interlocutor may display their disinterest with involuntary gestures or pose. This is a signal to change the scenario of the negotiations or to stop wasting effort. Observe the change in interest in eyes, lips, mood, and other signs. Attention to minute changes in body language will help you understand your opponent’s ulterior motives.
- Ask if you do not understand something
Nobody is perfect. It is okay not to know everything. For talks to be productive, do not be afraid to ask clarifying questions. One misunderstanding can ruin a conversation. Moreover, this shows the other side that you are listening carefully.
- Do not delve into little details
If you cannot remember the name or the exact date, do not hesitate for long. Often such details do not affect the course of negotiations and the result.
- Read, Learn, Practice
General awareness of global trends and the latest news will be a huge plus in any conversation. In difficult situations, this allows livening the process of negotiations.
Mediation skills require study and practice. However, you need to learn from the best specialists. Highly skilled CMA consulting negotiations trainers will help you master all the required tricks and secret weapons. You will learn how to correctly resolve conflicts, deal with doubts, get a “yes” in external/internal negotiations, and plan scenarios of actions, depending on the conversation course. New knowledge will make you a real professional.
How to Develop Negotiation Skills from Scratch: Summary
Anyone can develop the ability to negotiate from scratch. This is a necessary skill in 2020 for everyone, regardless of the field of activity. Practice at home, in training, consult with CMA consulting experts, read, and plan. Remember, a successful negotiator will help any business grow!