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If you’re not an accomplished negotiator, you may be worried about your ability to broker a good deal for yourself. You might even have considered taking a course that will teach you about negotiating business deals. Even if you haven’t gone through with that idea, there are a few tactics you can use to help yourself get the business deals that mean the most to you.

Listen to the other person

The most important thing you can do is to listen to what the other side is saying. This method helps you determine what they want and what they consider deal-breakers, even if they don’t spell it out openly. Learning what’s important to them will give you insight into how to respond.

Do your due diligence

Your success at the negotiating table will depend on the research you do in preparation for that meeting. This means investigating the company and the individual representatives with whom you’ll be negotiating. Find out about past similar negotiations they pursued and learn about the outcomes of those deals.

Mind your manners

No matter how the negotiations are going, it’s always important to keep your cool. Politeness will get you further than you think and will enable you to keep the door open. Regardless of how the negotiations go, you may need to communicate with these people again. That will be difficult and awkward, if you make an impression as a rude, mean, or obnoxious individual. Your demeanor affects how they respond to you in negotiations and in the future.

Understand the dynamics of the negotiation

In addition to knowing about the people you’re trying to negotiate with, you also have to understand what the deal means to each of you. Who needs the deal more? Try to find out if the other side is under a time constraint that will place more pressure on them. You should also try to find out if they have alternatives that would lighten their need to make this deal happen. If you can learn about their state of mind, you’ll be able to develop a more effective negotiating strategy.

These suggestions can help you negotiate better deals, but, more importantly, you can use them to develop a consistent negotiating strategy. By using the same negotiating tools repeatedly, they will become second nature to you. As with anything, you’ll perfect your approach with plenty of practice.