Well, the question may be shaped a bit differently: how important is negotiation in life? And the answer will be: utterly important because where negotiations fail, confrontation begins. The same applies to business: if negotiations fail or run into a deadlock, the best outcome is loss of contract and cooperation. In the worst case, economic warfare begins, and every party to it suffers. So whether we like it or not, skills in negotiations and dealing with troublesome clients or potential partners are essential if you want your business to grow.
However, there are different styles of negotiation, from collaborative to pushy. Do you need to know all styles? Which one is the best? It depends on what you want to achieve and whether you need to continue communication with other parties after the negotiations are over.
If you aim to win no matter what, it is one thing. If you plan to maintain positive relations with partners after the deal is made, it is another one. To know what approach is more beneficial in the long run, let us explore what good negotiations can do for you and your company.
Advantages of applying ‘win-win’ negotiation strategy
Both in conflict solving and contract negotiation, the ideal goal is to meet the needs of all parties and to reach the optimal solution or agreement. Perfection is often unattainable, but a flexible and collaborative approach can bring you the results maximally close to it. When your team applies this approach to negotiation:
– The final outcome is better for all, including financial, organizational, and interpersonal aspects of the deal;
– You build trust between you and the other party and the chances of further cooperation are high;
– In a win-win situation, there are no defeated parties, and you do not get a contract bonus of lifelong enemies;
– With a flexible approach, it is easier to stay at the table and navigate the talks when the situation heats up, and so there are chances of reaching the deal;
– You build your company reputation as a desired and respected partner to work with. The last consideration is probably the most important one because even if you do not win a contract this time, you pave the way for new business opportunities and collaborations.
Advantages of applying ‘win-lose’ negotiation strategy
If you need to make the contract on your terms and it overweighs all other considerations, then go for the ramming approach. It means that you skip compromises and search for common grounds and just ‘ram’ your position or demands into your opponents. However, it should be done smartly, so that your negotiations would not end up in a bar-like brawl.
How to get these skills of negotiation and how to decide what approach to use? Take good business negotiation training, of course. Both you and your team will benefit greatly from it. Negotiations happen all the time, whether within one department, a whole company, or between market players. Knowing how to start, lead and end negotiations gracefully and successfully will become one of the most valuable intangible assets in your business operations.