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Negotiation Skills: Top 10 Ways to Lose a Negotiation

Posted by on May 16, 2012

Negotiation SkillsIt’s like a bad dream: You arrive at a negotiation without the tools and tactics you need to produce a win-win outcome. Things go horribly wrong, and everyone leaves with a bad taste in their mouth. In fact, you’re sure that the other party wants nothing more to do with you. Even if you technically “won” the negotiation, it’s not a true win. We call this a lose-lose outcome.How do you avoid a repeat? First you need to know what notto do. There are many ways to lose a negotiation. Here are the Top 10:

  1. Fail to plan ahead
  2.  Go in with a combative attitude
  3.  Have no idea what you can offer and when to walk away
  4.  Arrive without responses to the other party’s likely objections
  5.  Assume you know what the other party wants
  6.  Fail to address the other party’s questions and concerns
  7.  Ignore the underlying power balance
  8.  Fail to neutralize the other party’s negative tactics
  9.  Narrow down the negotiation to only one issue
  10. Negotiate a win for you that results in a loss for the other party

One or more of these are probably familiar to you. We all have to start somewhere, right? The worst part is, any one of these actions is enough to sabotage a negotiation and possibly the whole relationship.



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