Negotiation is a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution. In business, negotiation skills are important in both informal day-to-day interactions and formal transactions such as negotiating conditions of sale, lease, service delivery, and other legal contracts.
Good negotiations contribute significantly to business success, as they:
- help you build better relationships
- deliver lasting, quality solutions — rather than poor short-term solutions that do not satisfy the needs of either party
- help you avoid future problems and conflicts.
Negotiating requires give and take. You should aim to create a courteous and constructive interaction that is a win-win for both parties. Ideally a successful negotiation is where you can make concessions that mean little to you, while giving something to the other party that means a lot to them. Your approach should foster goodwill, regardless of the differences in party interests.
A good negotiation leaves each party satisfied and ready to do business with each other again.
This guide explains why negotiation is important, and outlines strategies and tactics for negotiating well.
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