Negotiation. This is a critically important, but often overlooked skill for professionals in the cleaning and restoration industry. From insurance companies, vendors, agents, or clients negotiation is a part of everyday life in this industry. That’s why it’s important to develop your negotiation skills to be as strong as possible. You’ll be amazed at the difference that even marginally improved negotiation skills will make for you and your business. Here are a few tips for the next time you’re faced with a situation that requires negotiating.
1. Know Who You’re Talking To
The banal old poker mantra, “play the opponent, not the cards” rings true for negotiations as well. You can successfully negotiate without an understanding of who you are negotiating with. By simply knowing their perspective and what they want, you are already halfway toward your desired outcome. Do your homework ahead of time and get to know who you’re working with. This will improve your likelihood of success.
2. Listen, Listen, Listen
In the same vein, great listening skills are a must for effective negotiating. Unless the one you are negotiating with feels heard and understood, they are unlikely to be willing to work with you. Before you plow ahead with what you want out of the negotiation, first take the time to understand what the other party wants. This is a simple step but one that will have an enormous impact in the likelihood of getting what you want out of the negotiation.
3. Know Your Priorities
Prior to the discussion, make sure you are clear on what you want as well as your “walk-away” point, or the minimum outcome you’re willing to accept. In most negotiations, you’re unlikely to get absolutely everything you want. Knowing what you must gain from the negotiation, as well as the other non-essential but important items, will make it easier to walk away from a negotiation with a successful outcome.
4. Just Ask For What You Want
Remarkably, many of the best opportunities in life and in business come from simply asking. Whatever it is you need to go out of a particular negotiation, don’t be afraid to just ask for it. Beating around the bush can lead to miscommunications and prevent you from getting what you actually need. Being straightforward, but sincere, is an incredibly important skill in the art of negotiating.
All in all, negotiation is an art. Taking the time beforehand to prepare and develop the skills necessary for successful negotiating will have massive payoffs for you down the road. But don’t take it from us. Begin implementing the tips listed above and just wait for the greater success to begin rolling in!