When we think about negotiating, it’s easy to default to thinking that it involves a lot of forethought and communication. That is not necessarily true. In order to build a rapport, it needs to go both ways.
Many folks think that effective negotiation is all about carefully premeditated strategy and confident presentation skills. In fact, it’s much more about rapport... about fostering truly bilateral communication. Unfortunately, studies show that we spend only 45% of our time listening and retain less than 25-50% of what we hear, and that our listening skills decrease with age.
That’s why it’s important to keep an open ear during your negotiations. Carmine Gallo shared some indispensable advice on Inc., reminding us of the most important two-word sentence a sales professional should be using to open a conversation. Then listen. Take a drink. Write the occasional note. By the way, if you’re looking for more ways to improve your active listening skills, you can review some of our tips here.