Quick strategies to help improve how you negotiate

This piece is presented by the USD Beacom School of Business executive education program.

Whether you’re brokering a big deal or informally interacting in the workplace, effective negotiation skills are key to your success.

And we all can benefit from stronger strategies.

A one-day program Oct. 27 from the USD Beacom School of Business executive education program will help equip you with the skills and tools to manage everything from a salary negotiation to a vendor relationship.

Tyler Custis

Negotiating for Added Value will be taught by Tyler Custis, who founded and sold an English training company in Taiwan before becoming a purposeful instructor whose techniques will help you build better relationships and avoid pitfalls.

To learn more and register, click here.

Here are a few quick strategies from Custis that will leave you a stronger negotiator.

Are there a few easy ways to tell if someone is a strong negotiator or if they maybe could stand improvement?

Negotiation is like most things in life. It’s a learned skill. People are either intimidated or have spent time practicing it. You can tell if someone’s done it a lot of times. It’s not that you’re good or bad. It’s just something you need to work on. It’s not an innate ability. It’s definitely something you can learn.

What’s the biggest mistake someone in hiring makes when negotiating with an applicant?

I think this goes to a lot of mistakes that happen in negotiations. I describe it as an apple pie. If the approach is to slice it up and see who gets what share, that’s the wrong approach. The right approach is to see how big to make the pie and how we can expand benefits for both parties. Then we can divide it up and feel like both won. You’ll have to work together, so don’t think of it as a win-lose. Think of it as how to be mutually beneficial. So as the employer, it’s about how to make the negotiation beneficial for both and set up a beneficial long-term employee. The number one way to do it is be creative. In class, we talk about buying a car and you get into a win-lose. So how about if you give an online testimonial? Look outside the box. Future business. What are things I can bring? Referrals. Others ways to provide value so the other side feels like they’re getting a better deal. 

And, conversely, what’s the biggest mistake someone makes negotiating their own salary?

It’s just understanding your own power. Understanding what you add and what power or value you bring in that scenario. Not understanding your position is one of the biggest flaws we make in negotiation. So we want to understand the true benefits and value you bring to convey the position of power and get what we’re worth. If I’m going to negotiate for a fake Rolex in Mexico, I’ll probably never see that person again. I can use some strong tactics. But in an employment negotiation, I have to see that person every day. I don’t want to overshoot because I have to continuously work with that person. You need to be fair and honest and try to grow that pie so everybody feels they got a mutual benefit.”

Are there are few tips to keep in mind when negotiating with vendors or suppliers?

With negotiation in general and specifically to suppliers, information is key. You want to spend way more time trying to get all the information you can about the other side. Information is power. Understand the other party as much as you can and then put yourself in their position. Then you can understand their incentives for the deal and that can help you adjust and get a better deal. That’s key. 

Is there always room for negotiation in business or are there some times when not negotiating is best?

The first question we should always ask is “Should I negotiate?” And often that answer will be no. If I’m going to buy a new TV and spend all this time researching it and putting myself in their position, maybe I spent 10 to 20 hours, and I negotiate this down and gain $20. Probably not worth it. Sometimes we need to understand where our position is and just move forward.

What type of professional should consider taking your course?

There’s broad appeal. We all negotiate in our lives, whether it’s with our spouse or co-workers or boss or future employer. Most people find negotiation a key part of their industry or occupation, so many folks would benefit from this course.

Negotiating for Added Value is offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 27 at the University Center in Sioux Falls. To learn more and register, click here.

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Quick strategies to help improve how you negotiate

Whether you’re brokering a big deal or informally interacting in the workplace, effective negotiation skills are key to your success.

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