Negotiation is an invaluable skill in the sales and marketing fields. Whether you are negotiating with a customer to close a deal, or negotiating an important contract with a vendor – there will always be a place for additional improvement in this area. This skill transcends industry and can apply in some way or another to every discipline. Here are five ways that you can begin, or continue, to hone your negotiation skills against a fellow negotiator.


Be Analytical

One pitfall that many people fall into as they begin the negotiating process is being clouded by personal opinions and judgments of a person’s character. The more that you are able to separate the person from the negotiation, the better you will be able to look at and present the facts in a straightforward and analytical way. This does not mean that you should not engage in small talk, or that you should be completely calloused, but it does mean that you should be careful to not let preconceived notions run the negotiation.


Be Skeptical

We have all heard it before. The “take-it-or-leave-it” tactic. True deals and offers are quite rarely nonnegotiable. This hard-bargain technique can be used to pressure someone into saying yes without thinking it through. Understanding that you always have the right to counteroffer will help you become a better and more respected negotiator.


Be Thoughtful

Spend time getting to know who you are going to be talking to. Just like in all of sales, it is important to do your research and be prepared to talk about how your side of the bargain will benefit the other party. Be prepared to pay close attention and carefully identify the want’s and need’s of the other party so you can provide them with a thoughtful plan for negotiation.


Be Forward

Negotiation is about anticipating the next steps in the conversation and getting ahead of them. This process will be easier for you to accomplish if you are straightforward and direct with your negotiation. An experienced negotiator will be able to pick through the fluff and get to the point, so leaving out the fluff all together will save you both time.


Be Prepared

Before entering into a negotiation session with another party, it is vital that you spend a significant amount of time doing your homework. Key things to understand would be other potential offers they could get from other sources, what value would best appeal to them, and how your offer can best fulfill their desired value.


There are countless more traits that define a great negotiator; these are just the tip of the iceberg. Learning how to negotiate like a pro is an essential step to being able to thrive in sales and marketing positions of any kind. Define your value, don’t be looked down on, and do your research and you are sure to succeed.