For many, speaking in public forums or in front of a crowd is intimidating at best. One-on-one or face-to-face negotiations can be equally as terrifying. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Face-to-face negotiations are actually great. Yes, I said “great”. You have the advantage of observing so many body language signals; and as long as the person doesn’t walk out the door, you have the opportunity to change the direction, if you see it going down a bad path.
Here are tools, tips, and techniques to help you overcome your fear of negotiating under pressure.
An Ounce of Preparation
Obviously, if you are well prepared for your negotiation, that is half the battle before the war. Preparation is imperative in mastering the art of the deal. Thinking of all the possible worst-case scenarios and preparing for them beforehand will give you the confidence you need before you even attempt to negotiate.
Preparation is linked to confidence that is, in turn, linked to success. 😉
How do you prepare for EVERY scenario? Do your research. I have found that the more you get yourself out there, the more examples you can pull from to help you in your conversations. Remember…
Facing Your Fear of Negotiating
For some, fearfulness is the basis for face-to-face negotiations. One of the best, if not the best, ways to overcome fear is to face it directly. Facing your fear assists you in succeeding in face-to-face negotiations.
Facing your fear and imagining the worst-case scenario are both ways of overcoming that fear. Practice and rehearse negotiations in your mind’s eye several times over before you have that one-on-one meeting. You will be surprised at how much easier that negotiation will become.
When I was a pharmaceutical sales representative and we were acquainting ourselves with the newest promotional brochures, we were video taped doing our presentations. NOBODY liked to be video taped with your peers watching and then evaluating your “performance”. But I’ll say this, I preferred to goof up in front of my peers rather than my customers.
So, practice in front of a mirror or better yet…video yourself. You’ll observe things you like about your presentation skills and things you want to change. Remember…
Adjusting to What Works
One of the most effective ways to aid you in face-to-face negotiations is the art of body language. (That’s why we’re doing a series on the topic. 😉 )
Being aware of how body language works is an effective tool in aiding you with face-to-face negotiations.
For example, if you are aware of an individual’s gestures, this is an important clue on how she is receiving your presentation. If she is pushing her glasses up on the bridge of her nose, fidgeting, or doodling while you speak, this is a clear indication that you have lost her interest.
Once you learn how to read these signals, you can adjust your presentation, negotiation, or speech accordingly.
If you are in the midst of negotiation and you notice that the person listening to you is raising her eyebrows and tilting her head, then you know you are on the right track. This indicates that you can continue to pursue this line of reasoning in your negotiations.
You can see that body language plays a vital role in successful face-to-face negotiations. And…
Once you practice and put these skills to work for you, you’ll love negotiating