What are negotiation skills?
Negotiating is a type of communication that ends in an agreement. In business, negotiation techniques are used to close sales, draw up contracts and split responsibilities between colleagues. So, how can negotiation training benefit you?
1) Negotiate your employment contract
You’ve been offered your dream job, but the salary isn’t what you expected. Challenging your contract can seem like a risk, but many businesses have room for some flexibility. If you know your worth, then a company will often come back with a higher offer.
It’s important to do your research and find out what the market is like for someone in your position. Accepting a salary that is too low may make it hard to progress in your career, but expecting too much can also damage your chances. With effective negotiation skills, you can make it clear that you’re very interested in the role, before opening a discussion about your pay package.
Make sure that you don’t overlook any benefits that come with the job. You may be prepared to accept a lower salary in exchange for working hours that fit around family life, more holiday time, or a bonus scheme. Some businesses also have regular pay reviews, so there could be future opportunities to progress. When it comes to creating a career that works for you, be prepared to talk about your priorities with your employer.
2) Negotiate the best deal for your business
Whether you own a company, or want to work in management, you’ll need to look outside of your office walls for high quality goods or services. If you can’t complete a project in-house, then you may be required to speak to contractors, agencies or suppliers to meet deadlines.
You want work completed quickly and this makes it easy for businesses to raise their prices. Learning as much as possible about your industry will help you to understand what a fair price is, and how to negotiate a great deal. Making contacts and building business relationships can be an effective way to get prices down. If you order in bulk, or regularly use an agency, you can use negotiation techniques to secure discounts.
3) Negotiate with colleagues
It’s not possible to see eye-to-eye with everyone that you work with, and there will be times when you need to settle differences in a professional way. When it comes to spreading out workloads, you should make sure that you are clear about your own schedule, but are also open to collaborating with others.
Improving your negotiation skills will help you to keep your cool under pressure and come up with workable solutions. You should go into any internal meeting fully prepared, but also remember that you are on the same team as your colleagues, and can’t afford to alienate the people around you.
4) Negotiate with angry customers
It’s likely that at some point in your career, you’ll find yourself in a customer service position. This could be anything from talking to a client on the phone, to responding to messages on social media. If you have plans to start your own business, then you need to be prepared to initially juggle several roles at once.
Many customers become angry and threaten to leave when making a complaint. They may also have unrealistic expectations about how you can resolve the situation. Using negotiation techniques, you can ensure that a client feels heard and understood, while being careful that you don’t make promises that the company can’t keep.
5) Negotiate a promotion
If you’re ambitious and want to grow with your company, negotiating can help you to make a step up. Thinking about your career goals and where you want to be in the next few years is a good place to start. Training in your own time can also develop your skills and give you the chance to explore which areas of your industry interest you most. When a position becomes available in management, you’ll be well-placed to start negotiations. Your pitch could include successful projects, your commitment to the company and research about your market value. If the timing isn’t right, then you can use your negotiation skills to set up future meetings, or agree on achievable targets.
What is negotiation training?
Taking a qualification will teach you how to improve your negotiation skills and get what you want. Stonebridge College’s Negotiating Skills (Byte Size Skills Course) is designed to support you through every stage of a negotiation. Learn how to plan, propose a solution, bargain and close a deal. You can study this negotiation course online, making it simple to prepare for your next business challenge.