How to Become a Successful Contract Negotiator
Acquire these strengths if you want to be a successful negotiator
The time has come for you to sit down with union representatives or with the project stakeholders and you are wondering what to do. Well, a good contract negotiator should have some characteristics and skills that will allow you to achieve your goals while keeping everybody happy. Negotiations can make things even worse, so these tips will help you in closing that gap and achieving your results without hurting anyone. It takes time, and you will need persistence and practice to get there, but if you follow these tips, you can become a great contract negotiator.
Believe in You
One of the key aspects a good contract negotiator must have is confidence. When leading contract negotiations, you need to demonstrate that you are under control and that you are convinced about the issues you are making a case for. Keeping your goals clear while listening to others is vital on being seen as an authority on a particular issue.
Set Realistic Goals
Take a step back, and try to understand what can be achieved. When setting your expectations, you need to brainstorm about it and set your goals high enough but under a realistic frame. Don't expect to win all your arguments, so be ready to analyze what things you can trade when making decisions. There are certain techniques that you can use to decide on certain aspects, but be sure to understand all opinions before moving into this stage.
Never Back Down on Past Earned Rights
One step forward is an achievement. However, it is not the final goal. Once you have established and your goals have been approved, never trade-off those rights already acquired. Use those same rights to open other doors making a case of similarities and how they can both obtain benefits out of it.
Be Open to New Ideas and New Thinking
Are you ready to be challenged? Your counterpart will try to introduce ideas that you might never have heard of, so be ready to think and understand the value of having those new contract ideas incorporated into the contract. Thinking outside the box makes you an excellent negotiator as you can be seen as a problem solver and with the right attitude.
Don't Let Management Think For a Second They Have The Upper Hand on Anything
You need to establish that all agents included in the negotiation have equal rights, and they are all in the same position. The minute you let go of this opportunity, you will have fallen behind, and you will be in a difficult position that might prevent you from negotiating successfully.
Talk, Talk and Talk, but Listen
Communication is a key characteristic that good negotiators have. Maintain communication channels opened and always provide different ways to communicate. Nowadays, there are multiple ways to communicate with the project stakeholders and be sure to include all authorized representatives in your communication. However, don't try talking useless points, have a plan a stick to it.
Focus on the Benefits
Why are you negotiating? Focus on what you want to accomplish and what you are trying to achieve. To be a successful contract negotiator you will need to establish the benefits that the other party will be receiving if your proposal is accepted. Those items should be carefully explained and identified as this could be a critical point during the negotiation process. Explain how soon those benefits will be received, when do they start, what factors can change those benefits and present a clear panorama of all possible scenarios.