Steve Hall from recently discovered three tips for negotiating success in an interview with Gary Noesner, the former chief of the FBI Crisis Negotiation group.

Hall’s interview was one of a series called “Tips from a Master Negotiator” which sadly is no longer available online. However, we managed to source these highlights from the interview, in which Noesner gives three important pointers towards a successful negotiating strategy.

Tip 1 – Empathy
Noesner: “Success comes more from showing empathy, being patient, and showing perseverance than it does from forwarding a brilliant argument. Negotiation skills can be taught, but some negotiators have a natural self-control and likability that allows them to project sincerity, leading to influence.”

Empathy is a crucial element in successful negotiations with suppliers. Click To Tweet It is important to focus on the human element – and employ technologies that can support the building of supplier relationships – as much as focusing on marketplaces, targets, and price.

Tip 2 – Creativity
Noesner: “In my experience, the most effective negotiation process consists of being a good listener. Click To Tweet It’s critical to understand the views and perspectives of the other party in the negotiation and use that knowledge to craft a solution to the problem that is more likely to serve everyone’s needs, not just yours. Being creative and flexible generally helps promote a positive atmosphere in which success can be achieved.”

No two negotiation processes are the same, and therefore Noesner is spot-on when he says that listening is key to discovering the views and perspectives of the supplier. Developing a request for information (RFI) negotiation process can produce better results than adhering to a request for proposal (RFP) process.

Tip 3 – Be an Effective Communicator
Noesner: “Anyone in any business situation needs to be an effective communicator in order to achieve maximum success…All of life is a negotiation, but we are not all good negotiators.”

Even if you are a good negotiator, it is not always possible to conduct face-to-face negotiations in a global enterprise. Using communication tools such as Skype video (instead of the phone) can provide valuable clues, such as body language, about how to communicate with a supplier and help connect with them.