Developing negotiation skills

There is a lot of overlap between the skills you use for sales and those you use to negotiate. Both are art forms that also include specific techniques that can be employed to track, manage, and complete the transaction (otherwise known as “close” the sale). But neither is a science with exact steps and a “one size fits all” solution. Good negotiation skills provide a great foundation for developing good sales skills.

With both sales and negotiations, remember that you will improve with practice. Like the other skills in this book, sales and negotiation skills can be learned and practiced. Basic principles for good negotiations include:

  • Fostering a win-win attitude for all parties involved.
  • Asking GOOD questions and being a GREAT listener. Taking the time necessary to intelligently consider others.
  • Being flexible and looking for compromise solutions.
  • Recognizing the negotiation styles and techniques being employed by others.
  • Understanding the cultural issues at play. Organizational cultures and personal cultures (nationality or ethnicity-based) may play a role in negotiations.

You may have had the opportunity to practice your negotiation skills as you entered the job market. ink back to when you were first interviewing. You were the product that you were trying to sell. You did your best to sell your skills and accomplishments to a prospective employer. You presented your resume and explained your past achievements. You demonstrated how you would be a valuable member of the team.

This post was adapted from Career-ology: The Art and Science of a Successful Career, Chapter 6: Sales and Negotiation Skills.

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