The Art of Negotiation

In the world of business the most difficult thing to achieve, is perhaps, nothing but the negotiation table. Reaching a negotiated settlement and winning over the other side is the most complex and intricate task for which our marketers always strive for. From the management science to the business calculus and from the politics to the diplomacy as well as from the socialism to psychology, negations include and encompass every art. Negotiating people need to be resumed not only in one of above mentioned disciplines, but they should have the mastery to employ all the tools, when required.

With the rapidly changing world of the business and economics the art of the negotiation is also becoming more and more volatile and evaporative. One can’t suppose the negotiated settlements to withstand or stay for the certain period of the time but the need to renegotiate can be arisen any time when any one of the party involved, feels unsatisfied. While sitting on the discussion table one can’t rely on just business realities, one can’t suppose the comparative studies or factual interpretation might be bringing the desired results. One can’t suppose to beat the competitor just by resorting to the logics or by employing the rationalism but what needs to born in mind is that he might even be required to perform emotionally and passionately to turn the table over, in addition to all the rational thinking and negotiating arts.

Art of Negotiation

Most of the time it is not just the reasoning and the rational thinking through which we can reach at the mutually negotiated settlement. We can’t always rely on the facts and the figures alone. These facts and figures are simply not just enough to bridge the gaps between the two parties.

What is more important for us is to identify our interest with our client, what is more worthwhile is not to just to make the transactions but to win over the confidence of our client, what is most crucial is not to make just profit but also to do customer relations and the wining over customers satisfaction, what is more inevitable is not to win over the competition but to make alliance and cooperation and finally what is more beneficial is the good will and the sound footing which our company has contemporarily in the market. Negotiation and good negotiation is the most important activity which every organization has to do. All the organizational resources, whether they are the market capital, machinery, human resources or the technology can’t bring or produce any value if the end users don’t appreciate them, if the customer can’t see them to be worthwhile or enough worthwhile. Here at this point the negotiators are sitting, they turn all the tangible and intangible resources of the company into a market price, these resources include the structure, services, technology, machinery, human resources or whatever into are being turned into the real materialistic capital which companies rein duct or utilize for the materialistic ends.

Successful negotiating persons are those who turn all the organizational efforts into tangible benefits and competitive materialistic forms. On the other hand the incompetent negotiating team can make you and your product off all the values which you have spent to turn that product into consumable customer product. Modern business is witnessing the information onslaught, here under the modern circumstance the chances to manipulate your self are increasingly getting dwarf as well as difficult. One can’t suppose to keep his customers oblivious of the facts and figures; the avenues for getting the arbitrary settled deals, concealing the business secrets, manipulating the facts are becoming more and less.

We are dealing today with an intelligent and well equipped customer, who is purportedly equipped with the latest gadgets which can tell him the most competitive deal in the current date. Our customer, today not takes the naïve view of the things, he does not need to go into the market on his car, he is not required to leave his office to collect data and he has not to hire a firm to search for the best deals but information technology has dismantled all the traditional barriers to the information. Our customer, with little basic skills and market acquaintance can collect everything in the twinkling of the eye. He can get the latest price quotations in his own office. He can compare the data by the simple software applications.

He needs not hire the services of separate company to do all these things but just a click can make all the things split of second. We see today as the automation is entering in the world of the business the cliché markets are emerging. The companies are today more interested in making and performing the customer relations with the cliché markets. The customer relation managers (CRM) are used today to send the wise messages to the thousands of the potential customers worldwide.

The large databases closely monitor and watch the activities of the different user. These databases can handle the millions of the bytes of the data in automated way. At this point one can speculate the role of the negotiation might be going tougher, or disappear in the near future as digital machines might be going to replace the negotiation totally. As we see the companies which are getting the dotcom, the need for the human interaction or for the maintaining separate interfaces becomes minimal. In many of the cases automated customer software are reportedly handling the customer demands in a digital and efficient way. But still one can’t suppose that role of the negotiator is going to disappear totally in the organization in the near future but one can say with total confidence negotiation are going to be more tough and dynamic

No matter, how much the technology is getting advanced the role of the negotiating is ought to appear in one way or the other way. Apart from the pure arithmetic and there are always many areas where the need for the humanly negotiated settlements is inevitable at least in the foreseeable future.

Customer is changed today, by the dint of the information technology customer purchasing power has increased dramatically. Virtually he is not bound in any way to stay tuned to the ex suppliers. Our customer is not even bound to the national boundaries but today he is connected, in a multidimensional manner to an international network. He is today capable of making business with an unknown supplier, operating in the remote part of the world or at least he is today capable enough to calculate our sovereignty or to gauge our fiscal space even.

Apart from his own circumstances and making comparisons between the suppliers, our customer can even calculate the economic viability and profitability of the service or product being offered. Information technology has no doubt has greatly increased the purchasing power of the customer, it has rapidly expanded the choice list for the customers, it has also made the customer more independent of the supplier bondage while the task of the negotiator has been made more temporary and more difficult. Lastly we can say our negotiating team has to compete not only with the local competitors but there are now the international ones, our negotiating team has not only to deal with the persons or companies but also need to argue with the advancing world of digits.

Communications

As we discussed earlier there are countless qualities which a negotiator, for the effective negotiation need to have. We saw the negotiators can’t rely just on one trait like mental or physical capacity but in all the different circumstances we need the combination of the different qualities and traits

Different circumstances need the different behaviour and the style of the negotiations. One can’t assume to stay same in all the situations, but what one need to know is that if at the one place the rationalism made the way then at the second place the politics might turn table, at the third place being sentimental could pave the way similarly at some place the combination of all the above mentioned could squeeze the negotiated settlement out.

What is our mechanism to reach all the customer places is nothing but words of the mouth, the “communications” which can combine all the forces all the characteristics and all the traits which a negotiator can have or ought to have. Modern organizations do have the countless channels of the communications. There are the hundreds of the touch points between the organizations, products and the customers. Millions of the bytes of the data daily reach the information logs, on bases of which the decision are made and policies are the communicated. Every organization on the bases of these information logs selects the targets and tries to reach out their customers in a more direct and more immediate manner. Whatever they do in any case is to communicate and communicate. Let’s take a brief look at, what the communications are all about, how we can make the communication effective, timely and efficient. We also try to learn how to directly beam at our target customers and how to bridge the conceptual, mental and physical gaps to reach at the negotiated settlement.

In a negotiation process there are always at least two parties who negotiate to reach at common acceptable grounds. Both the parties are interested in wriggling out the best likeminded deal. We are interested, let’s suppose in getting the best price for our product while the other side is interested though primarily in our product but also in the enhancing the service package, plus in lowering the product price, as per asked by us. The task of the negotiating person starts with the question that how to find the common and acceptable ground for him first and to make it compliable for his customer also. Seemingly both side fit into the need and demand matrix, both can evaluate each other but everyone tries to get on the other to get the best tackle deal. It is not the matter that two parties share a limited area of the confluence or the sender and the receiver fall in the different need and want zone, both share the same area but not always reinforce or appreciate each other. At this phase as the aspirations cross each other, to find the parallel lines of the action becomes excruciatingly difficult for a negotiator.

A negotiator for this reason needs to be good at the communications. Communication is mostly mistaken as simply conveying your message or telling the other what you intend to say (like one way communications). This is not only the half definition but also the wrong one. It is not likely the case that communication is always face to face and we have to speak just in front of the silent audiences and we have to end with our speech without any question being raised or with or being crossed on the way. Similarly we communicate when are don’t have physically presence at every situation but we have to convey our message in writing. Moreover, if we want to be good speakers then we have to be good listeners and if we want to be good writer then we have to be good reader also.

A negotiator or a communicator always has to reach his audience in dignified, direct way, whatever his position or channel of communication (reading, writing, speaking) is. Though the process comprises many a things but in general we can say that communication is the sum total of four basic skills namely speaking, listening, reading and writing. An effective and efficient negotiator is who, who apply his communicating skills in a timely and effective manner. By employing his communicating skills he can interpret the messages emanating from the other party, he can decipher the hidden meaning, he find the bottom line, he can look for the laxities, he can find the diplomatic works, he can surmise the gravity of the situation, he can find the ambiguous but contour project lines.

While communicating the first and foremost thing which a negotiator needs to understand is that, what is being asked? There are number of the ways to say the same thing in the business and similarly there are number of the meanings for a same thing in business. Business language tends to be diplomatic, the words carry the double meaning and similarly the different clauses of an agreement can be interpreted according to the vested interests. An agreement is not piece of the good writing not merely the piece of the writing on the piece of the paper should not considered enough to conclude a business agreement but both sides should be given the chance to ask the questions, raise issues and define terms. Similarly the clauses in an agreement, before being finalized are needed to be thoroughly evaluated against the expectations and duties.

More communicating problems are arising today, as we our business is taking more and more international look. Diversity and trans-cultural management has really put the great challenge before the negotiators. As our business takes more and more nationalities the challenge for the communication becomes more formidable and precarious. Even use of the standard language like English can’t bridge the cultural and the national gaps. Different societies use the same language not in standard way but always in indigenous way. There is no internationally established form to use the words or interpret the terms but there are the channels where the ambiguity runs.

We need to further understand the need for inter organizational communication in addition to the extra organizational activities. In the modern world today, the inter company business comprises the largest part of the international investments and trade, millions of the bytes of the data are sent between the parent companies and the child companies, heavy exchange of the information can only be made by the effective communication and best negotiating approaches.

No organization is today oblivious of the challenges which the globalization is bringing and among them the most formidable challenges is how to entrench a multicultural business system, how to introduce the common culture and the meeting grounds to all the employees, how to economically sustain the flow of the information between the distant nodes.

Communications is the only ways through which one is supposed to bridge not the physical and geographical gaps but also the mental, perceptional, and cultural ones. There is only the way of the communication whether it is the online or offline, oral or written which always connects our organization with another one in a real time fashion.

Further we see the business communications are the sum total of the many activities where the task does not end with the writing the agreements on paper, but on the contrary the business communication include like the services packages, logistics, the insurance, the volume options and most important of all it contains the futuristic developments also, which negotiator need to look for. Reaching a negotiated settlement might not be a difficult task but reaching mutual understanding and getting a win-win situation is always the real task. Relations buildings and the pure business objectives not always run parallel to each other; there could be contentious issues which could mark the first or the second objective. The long term and the short term goals not always fit into one business matrix. A good negotiator is always whom, who steer a good balance between the short term and the long objectives of the organization.

Market Knowledge and Confidence

One of the most important characteristic of the negotiator is getting the knowledge to stay competent and to stay tuned to the competition. Besides keeping watch over the inside information and the data of the organization, the negotiator is responsible to remain vigilant of the latest market developments occurring outside of his office.

Market knowledge is today the set of the multiple things tangible and tangible, realistic and idealistic, rumors and gossip. It can be the knowledge regarding SWOT when you have to stand competition in your market , when you are going to do some investment in your field or you are about to enter in the totally new field , when the new competitors are about the capture your market share or when the peers are about to challenge your writ in the market, when you are losing your share , when the new technology is about the make to lose your competitive edge in the market, or when the new services is waiting for the powerful bidders.

Apart from all the above mentioned things market knowledge is still many a innumerable things which you can win, if you have the capacity, if have the know how and if you are informed, if you are adoptive and responsive to the onslaught, and similarly you can lose your erstwhile efforts if you were too oblivious and could not break with your inertia.

Negotiators need to work with the bundles of the informational data and has the sort out the relevant information from the non relevant information to reach at proper market planning. These information boosts up the much needed confidence which a negotiator needs while being sitting on the negotiations tables. Further the information tells him how and in which respect his service or product is more worthwhile and more competitive than his competitor etc.

No negotiator can put the confidence in his product and in his strategy if he is not aware of the competition and the ground situation going around, which is inevitable for a negotiator. If one does not pose his confidence in his product in his service, he can’t simply justify his position and the demands in a rational manner.

We know that the negotiations involve the nerve game where every side tries to get on the nerves of the others to make their suited way. In the absence of the confidence, soon the breaking point could be reached and we lose.

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