Matthew is a shrewd business person and runs his own electronic store in downtown Manhattan. In just a couple of years, he has established a powerful crew of salesmen and women who have helped him expand his business ten folds. I always wondered what made Matthew so successful among us all. So just the other day, I planned on revisiting him after months and one of his salespeople mistook me for a customer. What are the odds, right? Apparently, they didn’t know I was just there to meet.
However, I must say, I was kind of impressed. Unlike other sales vendors who go into the intricacies and details of their products, these guys were discussing real-life stories about how customers felt when they purchased one of them. They started telling me how their customers walked away with a smile on their face. The charisma was so authentic that for a moment, I was eager to purchase too. And apparently, they also struck a bargain that I was literally unable to refuse!
Later, I told them I am just here to meet Matthew and a sort of cheerful environment brew up.
I walked into Matthew’s room and asked, “Hey, Matt! How on earth did you manage to create such a charismatic team?” And he said, “They negotiate my customers, and I negotiate them. It’s simple as that!”
Negotiation Skills Every Leader Must Possess
Are you eager to learn the best negotiation skills as a leader? Here are some important tips for you.
- Strengthen your Emotional Intelligence
- Create the Perfect Win/Win Situation
- Ask More Than you Expect Subtly
- Negotiate with Your Active Listening
- Use Questions to Empower Them
- If the Cards are on the Table, Stop Negotiating!
Strengthen your Emotional Intelligence
If you want to be a successful leader in negotiations, you first have to master your own emotional intelligence. The only way of doing so is to feel how your employees are feeling. Take an emotional intelligence test if you are not sure where you stand on the EI scale. You will know where you stand.
It will further help you understand which areas you need to focus on.
Emotional Intelligence include,
- Social awareness
- Relationship management
If you improve yourself in EI, you can better negotiate with the employees on their terms.
Create the Perfect Win/Win Situation
Trust me, if you try force-feeding something down an employee’s throat, it will only clog halfway down. They may accept the change, and work on your terms but their will to perform will simply spiral down. As a leader, you certainly don’t want that to happen now, do you? Here’s what you need to understand.
A real breakthrough is when both sides reach a conclusion in mutual harmony.
As a leader, it is your job to create a win/win situation for the employees. By brewing up the perfect positive environment, you can convince your employee that your point of view is way more effective.
It will benefit the company as well as him or her, at the same time.
Ask More Than you Expect Subtly
Certain moments are just so mind replenishing. Maybe your team scored wonderfully above the line of success, it indicates that they have more potential and can do a whole lot more for your business.
If you ask them straightforwardly, they may feel overburdened and may come up with excuses.
Hence, you need to negotiate the terms by sugar-coating your purpose with some monetary benefits. In any profession, money is a major source of motivation. Also, setting the bar high puts you in a more negotiable position than ever. There is very little chance an employee will choose to walk away now.
Negotiate with Your Active Listening
Sometimes, we don’t realize that our employees are facing their own dilemmas and we are too busy dictating them how to upscale. We often go about our own dealings paying very little attention.
It can have some serious detrimental effect on them and unfortunately our very own business.
When you start talking substance, listen to what your employee wants to share. Maybe it is something important where he or she is feeling frustrated. Let them explain it to you and help them resolve it.
By allowing them to resolve themselves, you can make enough space to negotiate your own terms.
Use Questions to Empower Them
One way of negotiating is to ask plenty of questions. But, when you ask them, make sure they aren’t the type of questions where your employee is facing a more definitive decision-making situation.
Anybody can wrap up a topic by agreeing or disagreeing. The real challenge is, to ping them to open.
Ask questions such as:
“Don’t you think it is a good idea?” or “Can you help me understand the challenges?”
These questions can empower them to open up to you, and you will have the chance to negotiate.
If the Cards are on the Table, Stop Negotiating!
There comes a time when all the cards are on the table. You have shared your side of the story and they have shared their side of the story. Once, the terms are decided, make sure you stop negotiating.
It is very important for the leader to understand where he or she must draw the line.
If you choose to go on, not only is it going to be fruitless, but it is also going to turn things sour. Believe it or not! But you are going to emerge as an individual who is self-centred and wants more.
In the End…
I would just like to say that my good old friend Matthew knows where to draw the line and that’s what makes his salesperson one of the best in Manhattan. Negotiation is an art one must master over time. To become the perfect negotiator, you have to get yourself down into the shows of the other person.
You want things done at all costs, but it is up to you to decide…
Which way are you going to make them work, the soft way or the hard way?