BONUS TIP: Do Not Negotiate via Email If at All Possible
This might seem like a weird tip before diving into instructions on how to do exactly what I’m telling you not to do… but Greg says if you can avoid email-based negotiations, do so!
Use Facetime or Skype or Google Hangouts, or pick up the phone whenever possible.
Why? Because you’ve probably heard me talk about this before – Only about 10 percent of communication is in the actual words we say. Tone accounts for another 30 percent, while body language or visuals make up the remaining 60 percent.
Greg very astutely pointed out that if you choose to negotiate by email, 90 percent of your skill set is being wasted. So look for those alternatives when available.
But the reality of today’s situation is that you might have to conduct negotiations through email. So here are the four tips Greg shared…
One last quick note: Keep in mind these tips don’t apply to all emails you write… we’re talking specifically about negotiating via email in this blog.
‘Distance’ Negotiation Tip No. 1: Master Your Language & Writing Skills
Greg admitted that “mastering” your writing skills might be a far-fetched goal for some.
But his point remains…
Tone can be very difficult to convey in an email, so people have a tendency to interpret things in the most sinister, negative light possible.
Yes, that’s a bummer. And yes, that’s also reality.
So they’re going to judge you for spelling and grammar errors.
They’re going to misconstrue any unclear message.
They’re likely to take offense at things that weren’t intended to offend.
So how do you avoid this predicament?
For one, use tools like spellcheck or Grammarly to ensure what you write would make your English teacher proud.
Then, before you send anything, be sure to read through it for tone and clarity. (Among writers, this is sometimes referred to as conducting a “sweep”… you read through looking for only one thing at a time, like tone. Then do it again for clarity, and again for spelling, and again for grammar, etc.) Make sure to devote the time required to do those sweeps!
Finally, if you want to improve your writing skills, Greg shared what might seem like an unexpected but interesting exercise. Do “copywork” by writing out things already written by people you admire. He said this trains you to emulate their style and grow your own skills.