According to the article “Negotiation tips for beginners” by contributor John Saunders on www.londonlovesbusiness.com, negotiations can either prove to be a missed opportunity or a huge success depending on how you carry them out. For those who are just starting out in business, here are some tips on how to negotiate, whether you are an employee or employer:

  • Use your manners. Manners can set the tone for the entire negotiation. They are also vital to the process because they are unrelated to the actual details of the negotiation itself. Manners include being punctual, greeting others properly, observing rules of decorum and treating others with respect. Avoid using jokes, even as ice-breakers, since the negotiation table is one of the most professional settings in the business world.
  • Set a goal. A critical part of the negotiation process is to settle on something that benefits both parties. Setting a goal for what you want to achieve or what you would be happy to walk away with is a great way to stay focused during the process. Having a specific goal in mind will let you look at several different outcomes and solutions to help you arrive at the goal you expected to achieve.
  • Listen well. Information is king at the negotiation table. The best negotiators know when it’s more important to listen rather than talk. Make sure you have questions prepared ahead of time in order to gather as much information as possible. That information can help you gain a favorable outcome at the end of the meeting.
  • Be adaptable. While it’s good to be prepared and understand what you expect to happen during negotiations, they don’t always go as planned. The ability to be flexible when dealing with new information that alters the course of the negotiation as well as how you present your side of the argument may very well decide the outcome of the talks.

Read the original article here.