Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
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How To Get A Better Outcome part one

How To Get A Better Outcome part one

Each and every day you negotiate.

From “which programme should we watch tonight” to “how much of a discount can I have?”

However or more important decisions such as salary reviews or getting staff members to work together, negotiation skills are an asset to hone to help you achieve better outcomes. Here is the first of a two part series on how to improve your negotiation success.

  1. Be a Spice Girl. What do you really want?
    Before you even think of starting your negotiations nut out these three things:
    1. Exactly what you want. Be concise. Write it down. Own it.
    2. Your worst case scenario – what you will sacrifice or let go of
    3. Very best case scenario - dare I say optimistic with which to start the negotiation.
  2. Consider it a chess game
    Preparation is key. Plan all your negotiation points, possible rebuttals and alternatives. Open with the points you’re happy to concede. The table is in your court. Be reasonable. Both parties need to feel they’ve been successful.
  3. Use authoritative sources
    Drop in expert research or well known sources to back up your argument gives you credibility and increases your persuasiveness.
  4. Face to face is best

You can’t see a twitch over the phone or anger set in while reading an email. Non verbal cues are so communication-rich they can really help you with your negotiations.

How To Get A Better Outcome part two

Last week we covered three tips on how to improve your negotiating success.
They were:
1– Decide what you really want – include a best and worst case scenario
2- Prepare. Play it like chess.
3- Back your point up with information.
4- Face to face is best

Here are several more key tips

  1. Know thy opponent
    Rugby teams prepare for their matches by watching videos of opponents in action on the field. Likewise research whom you are meeting with. What perspectives will they bring to negotiations? What is their personality like? What are their soft points? Have counter arguments pre-prepared against objections they might raise.
  2. Have a huge you/I ratio.
    Plan each point from their perspective. Try to turn as many of your I’s” into ‘you’s’ as you can. For example replace “I think” with “do you think” or “wouldn’t you agree”; “I want” with “wouldn’t you want”?
  3. Ask questions
    Questions help get communication and understanding flowing as you know.  They are also a great strategy if you find yourself stuck in a corner. A well thought out question can both reopen discussion and uncover any doubts or concerns.
  4. Silence is golden
    We all hate awkward silences. Often silence takes over when both parties have spoken, and a concession is due. Learn to wait out the silence to your advantage.
  5. See it. Believe it.
    Visualise yourself in the negotiation. Have it play out to your advantage.  Observe yourself confidently employing the above strategies and coming out successful.

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! ( and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?

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