If your business enters into negotiations with customers, clients or other businesses, training your employees on different negotiation tactics can be very important. One of the tactics you may want to instil into your employees is a win-win negotiation tactic. Win-win negotiations are a type of tool that can benefit both parties who are negotiating while also increasing confidence and loyalty in the party you are negotiating with. This can help with repeat business and help to ensure satisfaction in the client, company or person you are doing business with. Here is what you should know about the win-win negotiation process.
In this article, we explore:
- What is a Win-Win Negotiation?
- Why Win-Win Negotiations are good for business
- Why avoid win-lose and lose-lose alternatives?
- How to encourage a Win-Win Negotiation Scenario
What is a Win-Win Negotiation?
Win-win negotiations are when both parties leave feeling like they have won. More so, both parties can walk away feeling like they can achieve their goals.
Win-win negotiations focus on integrative or value-creative bargaining processes and techniques. Rather than the traditional haggling or distributive bargaining process that most people use.
Win-win negotiations use an integrative or value-creative bargaining process. This process helps each party learns what the other wants. Overall making it easier to work within those confines or restrictions. As such ensuring, both parties walk away satisfied and happy.
Why Win-Win Negotiations are good for business
Win-win negotiations are good for your business for several reasons. First, when a customer walks away happy and feels like they got what they wanted out of the negotiation process, they’re likely to do future business with you. This can increase your repeat or returning business. Many studies have shown it is cheaper to obtain repeat business than it is to gain a new client.
They’re also good for business because customer reviews and word of mouth can help you gain new clients. When people like your business, they’ll go online and tell their friends and family about your business. This can further increase your business without you having to do any type of advertising.
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Why avoid win-lose and lose-lose alternatives?
A win-win negotiation is not the only type of outcome you can achieve. For example, the other two outcomes include win-lose negotiations and lose-lose negotiations. Learning more about each of these outcomes and why they are bad can help you better see the benefits of win-win negotiations and how they can benefit your business.
A win-lose negotiation occurs when one negotiator tries to best the other. They may come up with a one-sided deal. One party wins in this scenario and gets what they were looking for, while one party loses or feels like they did not get what they are looking for.
While a one-sided deal or a win-lose scenario may seem beneficial if the deals skew toward your business. Customers, clients, and other businesses will not want to do business with your company if the deals feel one-sided. You may win at one negotiation but lose in the long run.
The other type of scenario that can occur is a lose-lose negotiation. In this scenario, neither party wins. Neither party gets what they want and reaches a deal neither party cares for or is happy with. Both parties leave frustrated and unhappy, which is bad for employee morale and repeat business.
How to encourage a Win-Win Negotiation Scenario
Discover how to approach negotiations so that everybody wins. Below, we offer 5 ways to create a win-win negotiation scenario. Even when up against the craftiest of negotiators.
1. Focus on interests
While sometimes it seems they have an alternative motive, there are authentic reasons behind your counterparts’ conflicting positions. That’s because how each person sees the issue may be influenced by many factors—for example, their values, beliefs, financial status, responsibilities, or cultural background.
For this reason, you should always try to maintain a polite conversation and avoid placing blame. Once everyone knows their interests have been considered, they are more likely to be receptive to different points of view.
2. Create opportunities for mutual gain
Once everyone understands the other’s interests better, a natural solution usually becomes more apparent. This may mean you’re on the verge of agreeing. Or, if not, you can stay open to the possibility that an entirely new position may exist. Then use the negotiation process to explore your options.
3. Know Your BATNA
As you prepare to negotiate, you need to determine what you’ll do if you can’t reach an agreement. In other words, what can you fall back on if your counterpart can’t meet your terms? This situation is your BATNA (Best Alternative To The Negotiated Agreement.)
Knowing your BATNA gives you the confidence to ask for what you want. A strong BATNA is like an insurance policy. It provides you with two possibilities. Number one, either you reach an agreement with favourable terms. Or you can say no deal because you have a good alternative plan.
When researching your BATNA, ask yourself how much it will cost to do the deal you’re negotiating relative to the cost of your best alternative. When estimating your costs, consider both the short-term and long-term impact we discussed. Maybe you’re willing to concede a bit in the short term to allow you to reach your long-term goal.
4. Prepare for price negotiation tactics
Having a weak pre-negotiation position isn’t ideal. If you don’t identify the other party’s needs, desires and plans, you can’t position your offering. Essentially, leaving yourself open and vulnerable to being asked for discounts, terms you don’t feel comfortable providing and these 3 price negotiation tactics:
Anchoring is a price negotiation tactic of communicating a target price to anchor the bargaining range in their (your counterparts) favour.
For instance, prospective buyers may say, “we’re only really looking to spend no more than $350,000 for this.”
How to deal with the price negotiation tactic
In this case, the best way to approach the customer is to take the lead and suggest a price.
If you can’t do that just yet, ask the customer how they calculated this figure. More so, how does it fit into their budget? The idea is that you want to uncover whether they’re stating an actual number or a lie.
A typical price negotiation tactic commonly employed by cheap customers is constantly pushing back on the first price you offer.
How to deal with the price negotiation tactic
First, ask why the price is too much, then listen carefully as the buyer explains their objection. Once they finish, ask permission to understand the issue thoroughly.
For example, they may say, “I bought a similiar product for atleast half that price before!” You can respond by pivoting your answer to resolve or at least challenge the objection as:
“I think the reason you’re still looking for a solution is that because you purchased a product from [competitor] that differs from our product because [x, y, z reasons].”
In this price negotiation tactic, buyers attempt to dismantle bundles to gain concessions and mostly assume that the price will stay the same.
How to deal with the price negotiation tactic
You don’t have to accept changed terms because the buyer changed them. Instead, address the issue head-on by stating that you’ll need to review the pricing dependent on the proposed terms. This response will make it seem like their new terms have effectively come out of nowhere and that it’s unlikely to happen, but you will engage in a discussion about appropriate pricing.
5. Know your walkway point
There will be times when prospects demand terms that your business can’t agree to, whether that involves radical amendments or colossal price reductions. However, you can’t let pressure and uncertainty control the path of your sales negotiation. Ultimately, it will only lead to losing even if you ‘won.’ Hence why it’s essential to know that you can walk away and at which point.
However, before walking away from negotiations, it would be best if you first tried to disengage from talks by displaying dissatisfaction. Especially with how the process is evolving. If the prospect isn’t picking up on your signals, gracefully bow out of sales negotiations. This will save you both from wasting time and effort.
Knowing your absolute limits will ensure you aren’t manipulated into conceding to your prospects’ Price Objections or a deal you can’t happily deliver on. You should dismiss any offer that’s less than your bottom line and pursue alternatives.
Final word: Master the art of Win-Win Negotiations with SOCO®
Profit, relationships and deals are won or lost during the negotiation process. When successful negotiators arrive armed with the tools and skills needed to negotiate effectively, desired outcomes are optimized, and you avoid loss of profit.
Yet, when it comes to negotiations, profits and closed deals aren’t the only desired outcome. That’s where our Negotiation Skills Training comes in.
Preservation of the relationship is crucial to ensure long-term business opportunities.
Sales professionals, procurement departments, and business leaders must learn how to navigate effective negotiations that positively impact both parties and inspire future business.