Achieving a Win/Win Outcome
The best outcome for almost all negotiations is win/win, when both parties walk away with a positive feeling about achieving their goals. But how do you accomplish this ideal situation?
1. Avoid narrowing your negotiation down to one issue. When you focus on just one issue, there can be only one winner. A common example is arguing over the price of something. To avoid creating a win/lose outcome, you can bring other factors into the negotiation, such as delivery fees, timing, quality, supplemental goods and services, and so on.
2. Realize that the other party does not have the same needs and wants you do. If you think the other person’s goals are exactly the same as yours (for instance, a "good" price, which may mean different things for the two of you), you will have the attitude that the other party’s gain is your loss. With that attitude, it is virtually impossible to create a win/win outcome.
3. Don’t assume you know the other party’s needs. Negotiators often think they know what the other party wants. Salespeople may assume that buyers want to pay the lowest possible price for a product. But many buyers have other needs that may influence their decision to buy. By asking questions, a skilled salesperson may find, for example, that a buyer's biggest concern is not that she pays the lowest price, but that her boss perceives the purchase decision as a good one. This knowledge allows the salesperson more negotiating room.
4. Believe point number two in your heart. Most novice negotiators acknowledge that the other party probably does not have the same goals they do, but once the actual negotiation commences, this acknowledgement vanishes from their mind.