The art of negotiation

Hone your negotiation skills.

At Ling Phipp we can advise business owners in the Nottingham area on many aspects of running and growing a business. Here are some tips for successful negotiation...

Whether we are buying a house, planning a merger, discussing wages, meeting the bank manager, or fighting over the remote control, we all negotiate on a daily basis. So naturally, we'd all like to be good at negotiating and we'd all like to be able to 'get our own way' most of the time.

However, negotiation is a two-way process and it is worth bearing in mind this observation about human nature: if you want an agreement or compromise to be sustainable, people must leave the meeting room feeling satisfied that they have really agreed something, not that they've been bulldozed into submission.

Here are some pointers towards successful negotiation:

Devise a plan

First you must ask yourself what it is that you want, and why. Listing your objectives will help you work out exactly where you are willing to concede ground and where you want to stand firm. This will help you keep control of negotiations and offer incentives and compromises: "I'll let you have x, if I can have y". Then imagine yourself in the other party's position and anticipate their likely responses and objections.

Be confident

Express yourself clearly and positively. Do your research and make sure you are familiar with the main points you want to make. This will help your confidence and there is nothing more powerful than backing up an argument with hard facts and figures.

Never be the first to lose your cool

There is nothing more unsettling or undermining than someone keeping their cool and answering calmly when you are red with rage. Even if the other party is being wilfully obstructive, count to ten and stay calm.

Show that you are listening

Don't just push your side. Always be friendly and polite and demonstrate that you are not there to talk about your needs alone. This is essential if you want the other party to feel that they have really contributed to the final compromise and 'got something out of it'.

Prepare for the unexpected

Don't be thrown off course if the other party changes direction. Be ready to think on your feet.

Make it official

Once you have secured your agreement, ask for written confirmation, signed by both parties, and prepare an action plan with clear guidelines for responsibility and follow-up.

If you are in the Nottingham area and are looking for support and advice from a team of professional accountants and business advisers, contact Ling Phipp.

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About us

Ling Phipp was founded in 1974 and nowadays has two partners, six managers plus trainees and support staff.

We serve clients in the East Midlands and all over the UK. Our out-of-town location, with easy parking, close to the M1 junction 25 (Nottingham/Derby - A52), is very convenient.

Company details

0115 949 6838

Ling Phipp, Cliffe Hill House, 22-26 Nottingham Road, Stapleford, Nottingham NG9 8AA


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Registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Details about our audit registration can be viewed at www.auditregister.org.uk, under reference number 6424855. This is the firm number provided by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.