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While organizations take competition for granted, they often overlook effective negotiation strategies they can use to cooperate and achieve better outcomes.

Employers’ failure to teach staff good contract negotiation skills and ensure that standard negotiation procedures are in place is costing them millions. One study reported that some 80% of respondents indicated that they currently had no internal negotiation processes in place, meaning that any concessions made during an interaction tended to be arbitrary.

To make matters worse, a further 84% failed to measure the success of any given negotiation after a deal was signed.

One problem is the myth that organizations still hang on to that good negotiators are born that way. Studies show that companies that have well-trained staff that take time to plan and have mature procedures in place tended to enjoy better negotiation outcomes. In fact, organizations employing negotiators with a high negotiation maturity benchmark score saw profits rise by an average of 42.5%.

The message is clear: If you do not understand what is negotiable or what you want from the negotiation, it will likely lead to a bad deal. Failure to plan results in negotiations may leave you angry or frustrated, spending more money, and investing more time than you have available.

Negotiation pros recommend saving yourself time, money, and emotional angst by planning the negotiation before the negotiation happens. Think about everything that you would want if it would be your dream negotiated agreement. While you may not be able to negotiate everything, it is important to have options.

All negotiation involves some improvisation, but there is no substitute for advance preparation to support best case, acceptable compromises and walk-away triggers. It doesn’t help to blame the other side when negotiations don’t go as expected.

The first step in avoiding mistakes is accepting the fact that negotiating is a way of life in business, not an occasional special event. By recognizing that you do it every day, you can get better and improve your confidence simply from practice and learning from your mistakes.

When negotiating, always be pleasant and persistent without being demanding. Be professional at all times — do not get angry if a negotiation does not proceed in your favor, and don’t hesitate to enlist the help of internal and external subject experts as required.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Negotiation Training, a 2-day skills workshop that focuses on solving the problem and closing the gap between what both parties want. Whether it’s allocating resources for a project, funding a new initiative or establishing a supply chain for a new product or service, or procurement of new equipment, negotiation is inevitably at the heart of the process.

Additionally, Tonex offers dozens of different courses in a dozen categories in Leadership training. There are over 50 leadership courses in our Business Skills category alone. 

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