With an unstable world economy, increased competition, power and influence moving rapidly to the East and technology making business more international, faster and converged, the power of negotiation to secure partners has never been more important, particularly for the UK.

Negotiation is no longer about taking advantage of the other side; in our ‘New Deal Economy’ it’s about a collaborative approach. Whether you are an individual, SME, large enterprise or a Government – Negotiation is something you can’t fail to understand.

So, how can you maximize your own chances of closing deals in your favour in order to prosper in this ‘New Deal Economy’?

You can start by learning The Seven Stages of Successful Negotiation. These seven stages must be followed through in order as those who skip one of these stages usually have to go back and take care of that step before they can move on in the negotiation.

If you know what stage you are at and how to handle that stage then that will automatically give you a big advantage. It is therefore vital that you understand at all times where you are in this negotiation process.

Stage 1 – Preparation

People these days are always in such a tearing hurry that time spent on preparation can seem like something of a nuisance. Think about who is on your side.

What roles they are going to play? Who is on the other team? Is there any history between the parties? What’s the bargaining power on both sides? What will you do if you can’t get this deal done? What’s your bottom line? This is all much easier to work out in advance than in the heat of the haggle.

Stage 2 – Climate

On a practical level, where is the negotiation taking place?

What is the lay-out of the room like? How is the agenda formed? Do the team members on each side have authority to close a deal? In relation to the mood of the negotiation, what atmosphere are you going for? Warm and open? Cool and process-driven? Rather wacky and creative?

Every negotiation calls for something different. If these factors are resolved in a way you’re comfortable with, it can boost your confidence, helping you to behave more assertively and bid with more authority. It can also make the other side feel more comfortable with the process too, which will speed up the negotiation and make a positive outcome more likely.

Stage 3 – Wants vs Needs

Take time to understand the needs on both sides. Good negotiators know that you can’t expect to engineer a positive outcome for both parties if this stage is skipped in the rush to get to the “haggle”. “Needs” are the underlying emotional requirements that each side has from the deal – not to be confused with organisational “wants” such as “price” or “quantity”. “Needs” are the reasons “why” people say that they want things.

Stage 4 – Coinage

Work out what concessions you can make that are of low value to you but meet a high value need on the other side. This is otherwise known as “coinage” and is a very valuable currency in any negotiation. Such concessions will help the other side to feel better about the deal and will enable you to get more of what you want in return, at only a small cost.

You may realise that I mentioned there were seven stages to successful negotiation but I’ve only listed four above. There is a reason for this. If I listed all seven in a blog post would be super long and way too much to take in and actually implement. So I’m holding a full day workshop in London to cover the seven stages of successful negotiation, the eleven sources of bargaining power and how to influence the attitude of others. Find out more and secure your spot here.