The art of negotiating

Everyone wants a good deal, but at what cost?

We should all be striving to create win-win relationships, but unfortunately, some people are only interested in themselves. A win-win relationship makes you and your client happy, leading to a long-term relationship.

I believe in the old adage that what comes around goes around. People who are out for themselves will always end up in a win-lose relationship that will eventually turn into a lose-lose relationship.

In business, we negotiate every day. Some thrive on it and others avoid it at all costs, seeing it as potential conflict. Don’t look at it as conflict, but as communication.

Here are five keys to ensuring a win-win relationship.

1. Patience. Good things come to those who wait. In business, we want it and want it now, but a win-win relationship doesn’t come easy. It takes time, and if you strive to do your part, the rest will fall into place.

2. Research. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the subject matter. Learn about the person and his or her business needs before going in. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to focus on the issues.

3. Vision. Don’t only look at it from your own viewpoint. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to see the issues from their perspective, and you might be able to work out a better deal for everyone.

4. Partnership. You can put magnets together two different ways: One way they will come together naturally, the other way takes force. Force never works. If you encounter resistance, you may need to approach the problem in a different way.

5. Gratitude. Show gratitude regardless of what side of the negotiations you are on. When other people see this, they will want to go out of their way to make you happy.

Past relationships may not have not ended as win-win. Take a few minutes and send letters to these people to let them know you’d like to restore the relationship when they are ready.

They might be hurting your business without you realizing it. This gesture will go a long way.