The best negotiators in the world are always trying to learn new skills and figure out what they can do to negotiate more effectively.
Contrary to what you might think, becoming a better negotiator doesn’t necessarily require you to make massive, sweeping changes to your approach. It’s possible to improve your negotiation skills using simple tricks and tactics.
With that in mind, here are four easy tips to increase sales during your next negotiation.
1. Make yourself smile before you start a call.
This is going to sound silly. You’re going to think something this easy can’t possibly work, and you might even feel a bit strange when you try it the first couple of times.
But hear me out: Forcing yourself to smile before starting a call will help you close more deals. It’s that simple.
Why? Because smiling improves your tone, and tone means everything in a conversation.
Make sure to smile before the call to put yourself in the right mindset, and always smile as you say “hello” right when the call kicks off. This will ensure you’re using the right tone from the first moment, making the other side feel more comfortable and setting up your relationship for success. As Chris says, the first impression is the lasting impression.
In our experience, negotiators should use the Accommodator voice—a friendly, smiling tone—80 percent of the time. By forcing yourself to smile before you start a call or sit down at the table, you will ensure you have the right tone as the conversation kicks off.
2. Start your meetings with Labels™ and Mirrors™.
The Black Swan Group espouses the virtues of Tactical Empathy™—or making the other side feel so understood that they want to do business with you because you get where they’re coming from.
Labels™ and Mirrors™ are necessary if you want to develop that deep understanding of the person on the phone with you.
But here’s a tip: Just when you think you’re done using these tools, I suggest using them two additional times. You might think you deeply understand the other side, but most of the time when you think you can’t understand anymore about them, you are almost to a Black Swan. Don’t quit too soon!
This enables you to summarize what the other side is saying so completely they will be forced to respond with the two magic words: “That’s Right.”™ And when they say that, there are few deals that person won’t want to make with you.
3. Lean into Dynamic Silence™.
Don’t be scared of silence. Don’t be afraid to use it, and don’t hesitate to lean into it.
Another great tool to increase sales is Dynamic Silence™, or the strategic use of silence to create space and give your counterpart time to think and speak.
Most of the time, when you keep your mouth shut after a counterpart has finished talking, the situation will get awkward. To overcome this awkwardness, your counterpart will likely start talking to fill the air—which can help you uncover Black Swans.
At the same time, they will know that you’re listening to understand them instead of listening to figure out your rebuttal. In this light, silence helps build trust and, ultimately, stronger relationships.
4. End with implementation.
If you leave a negotiation without discussing what happens next, do you really have a deal?
Another tip to increase sales during your next negotiation is ensuring that you don’t leave the meeting or call without knowing the next steps.
To keep everyone on the same page, end the conversation with a no-oriented question: Would it be bothersome if I followed up in two weeks?
Ending with implementation sets you up for success because the other side knows what to anticipate and won’t be caught off guard.
To learn more tips to increase sales during your next negotiation, check out our free guide: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating Contracts.