Legal professionals need to interact with many people and this includes a lot of negotiation. Your negotiation skill determines level of success and here are things to do:
- Define your goals: Each negotiation attempts are intended to achieve specific goals. Also, you need to be sure that you goals can realistically be achieved through negotiation. You should also know that the other side is also attempting a negotiation with their own set of goals. So, it is a form of competition that you need to win.
- Prepare plan B and C: Your negotiation effort doesn’t always work, so you need to have a backup plan or two. Lawyers shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket. They should always ask themselves with what if and how. To improve your chance for success, you should know how to sweeten the deal and then close it successfully. Having Plan B or even Plan C could give you a much better breathing room. You could become much more flexible.
- Find out what the other side wants: The negotiation process is often associated with money, but it could be something beyond that. Other than money, the other side could also want sincere apology or other compensations. During the negotiation process, you shouldn’t forget that money isn’t everything. A genuine heartfelt apology could help to resolve consumer disputes and will help you to realize the deal. In some cases, you can avoid courtroom process, if the defendant agrees to express apology.
- Deal with someone who has higher authority: Negotiation process can be stalled if you are dealing with someone who has limited authority. Dealing with someone who acts or speaks on behalf of the company may not be enough. His/her hand can be tied, because they can’t decide on more crucial things, due to the lack of authority. In this case, you are not really in the negotiation process, because the representative will need to confirm a lot of things with the employer. It will be a complete waste of time and you won’t achieve much. Things can be quite troublesome if you are negotiation about technical stuff. The representative could already have restriction on the monetary amount that he/she is willing to give in. So, no matter how hard you negotiate, it will go nowhere, because the representative doesn’t have the authority to increase the monetary compensation. For this reason, you should only deal with someone who has the authority to do so.
- Set the tone of the negotiation: When you are entering the room, you need to look the part. You should wear professional attire that can make you appear like a respectable attorney. Women shouldn’t wear distracting jewellery and accessories. It is important to keep things simple. Project a positive image and people should think that you are someone worthy for a negotiation. Be a good listener and make a proper eye contact. You should stick to a proper negotiation style and determine what quality that you should have as a negotiator.