Negotiation skills can be helpful in all walks of life, from making purchases to planning a trip. For corporate travel managers, however, good negotiation skills are critical. Armed with the ability to negotiate effectively, travel managers can ensure that all of their dealings are as beneficial to everyone as possible. Below are some tips travel managers can use to develop and hone these essential skills.
1. Form a plan before negotiating
Travel managers who will be involved in negotiations should take some time to form a plan of action in advance. When creating this plan, the travel manager should consider what he or she wishes to accomplish, what the other side wants to accomplish, and the types of outcomes would be considered unacceptable to either party.
2. Listen carefully
Although forming a plan is important, negotiators should not enter the meeting with a closed mind. Instead of focusing on what they will say next, negotiators should listen carefully to the other parties involved and craft responses accordingly.
3. Make use of good people skills
When a negotiator is friendly, entertaining and respectful, the other parties involved are more likely to respond in a positive way. Even if a travel manager does everything else right, he or she won't achieve the best possible outcome if his or her people skills are lacking. To get the most out of negotiations, travel managers should make an effort to connect with the other people involved on a deeper level.
Few people are born negotiators. To become truly effective, sufficient practice is required. Travel managers hoping to improve their negotiation skills can get some extra practice by engaging in mock negotiations with coworkers or family members.
Corporate travel is changing faster than ever, but Concur can help travel managers adapt.