handshake-1239869Negotiation is how we form partnerships and strategically place ourselves and our businesses in the right direction for growth and success. Because negotiation skills are important in every aspect of business, Accent On Business has a few tips on how to effectively communicate and negotiate with potential partners, clients, and colleagues while improving your executive presence.

1. Know your purpose for the conversation. On what are you willing to negotiate? What are your critical points and your non-negotiables?

Know your audience. People generally fall into four categories of business personality: the driver, the amiable, the analytic, or the expressive.

Driver types are straight and to the point, very focused on business and not interested in your personal life. They want to see profit and success and will need for you to explicitly state how your partnership will help them be successful.

Amiable types care strongly about relationships and they go into business with people they like. They want to get to know you and want you to make them feel comfortable with the business opportunity. It usually takes them awhile to make decisions because you have to talk them through each of the steps – they like to take everyone’s opinion into consideration before making a decision.

Analytic types need a spreadsheet. They like to see the numbers and will know if it works for their company or not based solely on the spreadsheet. They are usually a bit more reserved and do not like to have large amount of conversation.

Expressive types are similar to drivers, but have a stronger focus on relationships. They will make the best decision for their company in a timely manner, but want to get to know you, too.

Tip: When you need your audience to be an advocate for you, appeal to his/her specific personality types, respect her needs, answer her expectations, and remember to be specific about the purpose of your meeting.

2. Focus on how you deliver your messages. What body language should you be using with your audience? What facial expressions? Do you look and sound likeable, believable, and interesting in your presentation?

Tip: Your smile is our biggest sign that you believe what you’re saying. Use inflection to make meaningful words stick.

3. Mirror your audience’s speed of speech and tone. If he/she is serious, you should be serious. If he/she is talking fast, then you should talk fast. This “mirroring and watching” makes negotiations stronger, shows your respect for him or her, and keeps you at equal business stature.

4. Listen to their “REALLY” emotions: really happy, really excited, or really mad. What words are they using and what senses do they appeal to? Visual, auditory, or kinesthetic? Stay on that same “sensory mode” during that topic. This improves your bonding and rapport while showing respect.

Example

Audience: “What I see from this situation is that it will take six months to complete.”

You: “Yes, that’s my perspective, too (visual).”

Audience: “We need to stomp on this.”

You: “We can get a jump on it starting Wednesday (kinesthetic).”

Tip: Their “sensory mode” will likely change with every topic change. If you’d like more practice in this technique of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), contact us. 

In using this technique, you relate to them and their point of view, what they are seeing, feeling, and hearing. You listen better, and can address the problem in a constructive way that lets them know that you understand why they are feeling that way and that their feelings are valid.

5. Practice saying your content out loud before the meeting. This should include your purpose statement, your opening, and your closing. Saying it out loud may prompt you to polish and clarify your first key message.

Example: “Glad we could be on this call. Today let’s approve the budget to solve overspending in the marketing department…”

6. Create suspense in relaying the details and why they are important. Suspense in public speaking goes deeper into the emotion centers of our brains. It creates impact and is powerful.

Example: “Our proprietary accounting system not only keeps your records in a timely fashion, it does something much more for the success of your company. (Pause) It sends an alert to your email for each missing piece of data and sends you a “completion report” whenever a task has been fully completed.”

By being intentional and purposeful in creating messaging, you are prepared for the discussion and negotiation, and will use others’ time wisely. And when you practice how you deliver those messages, you’ll more effectively influence the decisions made by your audience. Want to practice with guidance? Schedule some time with us.