Whether you’re negotiating your salary at a brand new job, requesting a pay raise, or overseeing a deal, negotiation is a skill that each professional needs – but it’s no easy feat. You will struggle in your career if you cannot negotiate effectively. For instance, you may lose business or the respect of your team members. Or, you would possibly fail to resolve problems that better negotiators can sweep through. Here are the negotiation mistakes to avoid in Malaysia.
Negotiation mistakes to avoid in Malaysia
1. Being Afraid to Offend
Trying to secure the best deal for yourself, your team or your organization can be daunting. You may be scared of saying the wrong thing, settling too early, or haggling. Perhaps you find rejecting other people’s proposals embarrassing or stressful, especially if your leadership style is more consensual than directive.
You can address these feelings by remembering that there’s a difference between negotiating and arguing. Unlike an argument, where each party makes the case for or against something, the aim of negotiation is for both sides to reach an agreement. As both parties want different things, you can only arrive at this point through discussion of what you are and are not prepared to do – it’s just part of the process.
2. Failing to Prepare
Even if you have a clear idea about what you want from a negotiation, you still need to prepare and rehearse your arguments carefully.
When you prepare, you feel more confident, which is important in any negotiation. If you can demonstrate your knowledge of the subject in question, the other party will take you seriously. And you’ll be less likely to forget something if you’re fully prepared – it’s important to include everything in your negotiation as it’s extremely difficult to get new demands accepted after the negotiation has taken place.
If you’re entering into group negotiations, sit down with your team beforehand and decide who is going to say what. Practice your “pitch,” and clarify your arguments, perhaps using role play. Discuss what the other side is likely to say, and what you’re prepared to compromise on. Make notes, and bring them to your meeting.
3. Focusing on Price
Business negotiations are often about money. But if you go into a negotiation process fixated on price – because you want to reduce it or protect it – you risk backing yourself or the other party into a corner.
Price is, of course, important, but it’s often just one aspect of a deal. Consider what else you could negotiate. For example, perhaps you can agree on an exclusivity clause, add additional services, or improve the terms of your contract.
4. Trying to “Win”
Reaching an agreement might be more difficult if you expect to win outright, even if you’re entering the negotiation from a position of strength.
The most effective negotiation is where both sides leave the table feeling that they’ve gained something. They may not have everything they wanted, but they have enough for the deal to be worthwhile.
It’s important not to be greedy. If the other party compromises and the deal is acceptable to both of you, you could jeopardize it if you play “hardball” and put future negotiations at risk. In other words, know when to stop negotiating!
Read our article on Win-Win Negotiation for tips on how to find a fair compromise when negotiating.
5. Not Building Relationships
There may be occasions when you have to go into a negotiation “cold,” so you’re unaware of the other side’s wishes. But try to establish a relationship with the other party if you can. Just making small talk can build trust and give you a better insight into his or her goals, ambitions or even fears about the negotiation process.
There might be some tough talking ahead, but you’re more likely to reach a satisfactory agreement if you establish a good relationship early on.
By knowing how to negotiate professionally and the negotiation mistakes to avoid in Malaysia, you can strike deals much more easily. This will not only beneficial to your business but your everyday life too.
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