Negotiation skills come under a marketing professional’s forte as they are an important point of contact for external as well as internal stakeholders and vendors. Every aspiring marketer takes time to develop and hone such skills as one attains with experience.
In one of the sections of this article, we have enlisted top negotiation skills that will help you shape a successful career in marketing. However, before we delve deep into negotiation skills and negotiation tactics, let’s understand the meaning of marketing and why negotiation skills are vital among marketing professionals.
Importance of Negotiation Skills in Marketing
When marketing professionals are asked to explain marketing, everyone’s answers would vary from each other. The reason is – marketing, like other business functions, covers a range of processes that are difficult to define. A dictionary, however, defines marketing as “the activity or business of promoting and selling goods or services, including marketing research and advertising.”
Marketing professionals with excellent negotiation skills are an asset for a business organization. Here are the reasons why negotiation skills in marketing are essential –
- The sustained growth of the business organization
- It helps in saving operations and other costs
- It leads to good customer service
- It improves the business relationship between stakeholders and others
We’ll take you through some negotiation skills every marketing professional must have to make strides in their career.
What Are the Top Negotiation Skills?
Negotiation can be summarized as a discussion undertaken to end a dispute or reach an agreement with a decision. A wise negotiator carefully analyzes a problem beforehand and comes to an alternative that benefits everyone in the long run.
Negotiate the process
Before going to the negotiation table, re-enact the negotiation process with the team so that your team works together for a single goal. Don’t assume that everyone arriving for negotiation is on the same page when it comes to goals, objectives, etc. So, preparing beforehand for the process helps reach the goal easier without peril.
Build good relationships
It is recommended to build a good rapport with the person you will negotiate with. For instance, a small session of the light chat before the negotiation process will help reach an agreement quickly.
In a negotiation process, be an active listener. Carefully listen and comprehend what your counterpart is saying. It will help you decide what to say next and align your thoughts with your counterpart’s. Additionally, it will help to reach a final decision quickly. You can also openly acknowledge any difficulty in comprehending what your counterpart said. Therefore, it is one of the most important negotiation skills a marketer should possess.
Avoid anchoring bias
Whenever you are negotiating, there are high chances that you will fall into the trap of developing an anchoring bias. What is anchoring bias? A cognitive bias heavily relies on the first piece of information communicated to an individual. Many times, parties develop anchoring bias during a negotiation process. Therefore, stay away from bias while coming to a solution. Also, make sure your counterpart does not fall into the trap of anchoring bias during the process, as it would heavily affect the conclusion.
Ignore unnecessary conflicts
Skilled negotiators value peaceful conversations. And to become an excellent negotiator, you too have to make sure you avoid unnecessary conflicts with your counterpart or other parties present in the process. You can also present multiple equivalent offers simultaneously to avoid disputes between parties.
Make a plan for implementation
The negotiation process is a continuous process that requires both parties to be resilient and flexible to adapt to different changes in the business environment, among others. So, after completing the negotiation process, place milestones or deadlines to ensure that the deadlines are met. Also, to incorporate changes in the original plan if need be.
These negotiation skills will help beginner-level marketing professionals complete a negotiation process without a hiccup. However, if you are already in the field and feel the need to hone your negotiation skills, mentioned below are some ways in which you can do it.
How to Improve Negotiation Skills?
We have curated some excellent ways to improve your negotiation skills:
Take a proactive approach
Negotiation skills training alone cannot help marketing professionals become excellent negotiators. However, a strong urge and proactive approach surely can. Therefore, taking training lessons is not enough; work on your negotiation skills by setting up mock discussions with friends or managers.
Negotiation skills training often includes several team exercises that help candidates understand their mistakes. In addition, trainers frequently conduct role-play exercises that expose negotiators to their flaws, which can later be fixed through learning and rigorous training sessions.
Negotiation training provides candidates with a forum to practice different negotiation process scenarios. Therefore, it is essential to utilize the time spent in training to learn new negotiation tactics and strategies. These will help you apply them to the business environment.
In the next section, we’ll take you through how you can learn negotiation skills without a hassle.
How to Learn Negotiation Skills?
It is highly recommended to undertake a marketing certification course in order to have an in-depth understanding about marketing and related subjects. If your concepts are clear and you have a strong knowledge-base, you’ll be able to learn excellent negotiation skills without a hassle as you would know about all the factors at play. However, before you embark on the journey of learning negotiation skills, here are some things you must be aware of:
- Preparation is required to hone negotiation skills
- Preliminary knowledge about negotiation skills
- Advantages and disadvantages of negotiation skills
- The benefits of learning negotiation skills for your career growth
Ahead, we will be discussing negotiation tactics, techniques, and strategies that, when learned by professionals, can benefit them to tackle difficult negotiation processes easefully.
What Are Different Types of Negotiation Strategies?
Negotiation is a strategic decision that helps business organizations solve complex problems amicably. Companies consider different negotiation strategies while finding a solution to a business problem. Here are commonly used negotiation strategies.
- Distributive negotiation strategy
- Integrative negotiation strategy
- One-shot vs repeated negotiation strategy
While distributive negotiation strategy is used when there are no pre-set negotiation rules and regulations, people discuss one issue and try to find answers to it in this type of negotiation. Meanwhile, in integrative and one-shot vs repeated negotiations, people discuss multiple issues and find answers to all of them through discussion.
In the last section of the article, we will look at different negotiation techniques and tactics.
In a negotiation process, a professional may undertake different negotiation techniques to reach the desired solution. Here are some negotiation techniques that working professionals popularly use during a negotiation process.
- Active silence: In this process, both parties use silence as a communication tool. They take long pauses and breaks before concluding the negotiation process. It is commonly done to express strong emotions related to a situation or discussion.
- Win-win negotiation: This type of negotiation technique has a conclusion that benefits both parties. This technique is often used to avoid conflict among the parties.
- Anticipating objective: It is a negotiation technique that predicts the counterpart’s objections to your proposal.
- Negotiation power: In this technique, the powerful party will use their position to dominate the negotiation process.
- Negotiation tactics: A negotiation technique uses different tactics to win a negotiation process.
Though there are many negotiation techniques that business organizations widely use, negotiation tactics remain to be the most popular. Its unique characteristics and scope make it the first choice for many negotiators. Here’s a brief introduction to negotiation tactics.
Introduction To Negotiation Tactics
Negotiation tactics are summarized by skills used by a negotiator to win over a negotiation. Some believe in bargaining, while others believe in undertaking unethical behaviour to achieve a favourable result. To win a negotiation process, negotiators use different tactics.
What Are the Different Types of Negotiation Tactics?
- Highball or lowball
- Snow job
- The nibble
- Lack of authority
Negotiation is a skill that takes time to develop, and therefore many aspiring negotiators take up different marketing certification courses that equip them with adequate knowledge about the negotiation process, different types of negotiation tactics, and more. Emeritus India has partnered with different Indian and international institutes to offer the best marketing courses that will help you master negotiation and other relevant skills and accentuate your career growth.