7 Ways Veterans Can Become Better Negotiators

13271613393_2ac2c0e14c_zThe military teaches many skills. However the reality is that negotiating is just not one of those skills.

Many veterans get out of the military without learning anything about negotiating.

Think about it? Did you ever have to negotiate for your salary in the military? Never.

The lack of knowledge about negotiating in the civilian world can be problematic to many veterans.

Negotiating does matter. This is why we are bringing you 7 different ways to become better at negotiating.

Before we dive in, allow us to give some advantages that come with being a better negotiator.

A Few Advantages That Come With Negotiating:

  1. You can save a lot of money
  2. You will be able to get what you want
  3. You will know that you are not being taken advantage of

With that simple but hopefully compelling argument letís get into the 7 ways on how you can become better at negotiating:

  1. Understand that most people are horrible negotiators Ė This is a fact: Most people are horrible at negotiating and donít really know how to do it well.

Experience does not make you a better negotiator if you donít know what youíre doing.

Why does this fact matter? If you understand this reality and take the time and effort to improve your negotiating skills then you already have an advantage over majority of the population

How do you get better?

†Read a reputable book. Take a short college course. Attend a seminar.

All of these are examples of simple ways for you to learn more about the art of negotiating.

Incidentally, High Speed Low Drag offers a negotiating course that veterans can take to improve their skills.

Click here to watch†7 Ways to Become A Better Negotiator on Youtube

  1. Know yourself- Knowing yourself means understanding your wants, your needs and knowing that there is a difference.

The key to all of this is understanding your BATNA.

BATNA stands for Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. To put it in much simpler terms BATNA is your safe point. You NEVER go lower than your BATNA.

Never enter a negotiation without having a set BATNA first. If you do you could end up not happy with your decision and besides that not getting what you wanted.

By coming in prepared and knowing what you will not accept then you avoid making a regrettable arrangement.

The second part of knowing oneself is to not focus too much on focal points.

The military has taught veterans to focus but when you focus too much on one thing you may fail to look at other factors which may also carry significant weight.

A great example of focusing too much is zeroing in on the monetary salary that one gets from a job. Most people will only look at the salary and not really care about anything else.

However smart people know that a job is so much more about the salary one gets. For example, one also needs to consider the hours he will be required to work, how much leave time he will get, the number of sick days, or how much travel will be required.

†Another thing to look at is your personal propensity to risk. How much do you like and enjoy risk?

If you are just not comfortable with risks, realize that that will play into the negotiation.

  1. Take the time to understand the other party- In any negotiation there are at least two parties who are trying to make the best arrangement for themselves.

By knowing what the other party wants and knowing what they might be willing to give, you immediately have a clearer vision of where you stand and what limits you should set on your own negotiation with them.

13271784624_b182e55883_zThis allows you to work out a great deal that will make both parties happy.

  1. Understand the situation– Many negotiations are actually long-term and rarely a one-time deal.

One needs to realize this and really take the time to assess the situation.

If you burn bridges this could really come back to bite you.

A great example is negotiating an apartment that you want to rent. Your first instinct may be to lowball the monthly rental price.

If you decide to do that, you may be making life harder for you in the future.

Lowballing the price and having a begrudging landlord agree may mean months or years of poor service on his end, unanswered phone calls and unpleasantness.

Do you really want to deal with all of that?

By taking the time to think about the situation you can definitely save yourself from pain and suffering.

Some situations will also require you to look at situations of scarcity, ideology as well as negotiations made out of necessity or opportunity.

  1. Make the first offer- One of the best ways to make sure that you will be getting your BATNA and somewhat control the situation is to make the first offer if you are prepared.

If you donít feel prepared it may be a better idea to allow the other party to make the first offer and determine if it goes well beyond your BATNA and would be something that you would actually consider.

If the offer is too low, immediately make a counteroffer with a much higher anchor so that the middle point will actually be within your BATNA. You can even explain your rationale if the situation allows you too.

However if you have assessed the situation and know yourself as well as the other party then bite the bullet and make a very pinpointed offer so that you set an anchor.

  1. Do not forget about the power of fairness- It can be all too easy to violate the other partyís idea of fairness and once that happens, the whole negotiation can easily fall apart.

At the end of the day, people just want to be given a fair deal or a fair arrangement. In a successful negotiation one needs to know what the other party considers as fair and not cross that line.

Once fairness is violated all logic can jump put of the window and you may be forcing the other party to look at the deal in an emotional manner instead of from a business standpoint.

If the other party gets the feeling that you cannot be trusted with being fair then they will much rather go with another person even if it means paying them a little more.

  1. Expand the pie- To expand the pie one needs to have trust, information sharing, possibly bringing in other issues and possibly bringing in other parties.

Oftentimes in negotiation parties can focus on only one thing instead of creating trust, looking at other issues, sharing information and possible looking at other parties that could be involved.

By choosing to expand the pie by using these techniques you will be able to create win-win situations, which makes everyone happy.

By keeping these tips in mind and at heart you can definitely become a better negotiator. Hopefully this post was useful to many of you.

Remember that this post is for veterans but this isnít the only one. Check out other useful articles at High Speed Low Drag†or subscribe to the High Speed Low Drag Youtube channel.

Until next time!