Technology has transformed the negotiations landscape. Due to technology, decision makers are now more accessible for faster closing of deals.
Those who frown at advances in technology are often at a disadvantage. Without tech-assisted access to critical information, decision-making is likely to be slow and flawed. Instead of fearing change, negotiators of the future need to embrace technology today. Here are five surprising ways technology has improved how we negotiate.
Quality Online Negotiation Training
Learning used to be expensive and time-consuming, and resources used to be too generalized. Many negotiation trainees would also need further on-the-job training after lengthy courses.
Most people would have expected modern learning to be challenging, being more difficult to verify the credentials of each online negotiation training program. Instead, the quality of negotiating advice available far surpasses what was there before the internet.
People from varied backgrounds are using valuable learning resources from all over the world for their negotiating needs. Most training resources are needs specific. Also, you can practice what you learn, using online simulations with job-specific scenarios. For instance, you can find training resources for:
- Business executives
- Sales teams
- Job seekers
- Police officers
- Government officials
- School teachers
- Marriage counselors, etc.
Whatever your profession, there is probably online training specific to your needs made possible by technology.
Access to Intelligence
It used to be that you had to make many calls to your networks to learn about the other side. Then, much of the information would not always be reliable.
These days, a search engine query can provide a thorough background check on the people you might be meeting. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer many insights into people’s backgrounds. That’s just the information available publicly, accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Also, companies now keep databases with information on their business partners and rivals alike. Niche-specific listings provide more insight on people and companies within an industry.
Simplified Internal Reviews
Before the internet, talks could be cumbersome. Take, for instance, a discussion involving many teams. Say there are four teams in one conference room and each team has at least three members. Everyone in that room has an opinion and wants their voice heard. It would be difficult to sort out the truth from the misconceptions and misinformation.
You would have thought technology would add to the noise. Instead, technology has made it easier. There are apps and software available to enable everyone to add their thoughts, and everyone can see who made what contribution. People can offer their ideas without being in the same room, or even in the same country.
Technology has made it possible to:
- Organize information
- Assign tasks to team members
- Verify information
- Hold everyone accountable for their input
So, rather than complicating things, technology has made teams more effective.
Ability to Approve Contracts
Just as the negotiation process used to be hectic, so did approvals. Some agreements needed teams to pore over extensive documents and find the right people to sign the deal. Most support staff would need specialized training courses to learn the system. The whole process was costly and time-inefficient.
Today, many online negotiation platforms provide automated approval systems. You can review contracts and supporting documents without losing time. With electronic signatures, you can reach out to many signatories at once to seal the deal fast.
We live in a fast-paced society where if you snooze, you lose. We are always on the move, yet need to be present to move processes along. Mobile technology has made it possible to keep operations in motion no matter where we are.
Technology provides mobile-friendly and responsive solutions that are user-friendly. Apps and mobile browsers are robust enough to provide seamless integrations. You can work on your office computer, then head over to a cafe and keep working on a tab, then use your phone during your commute – all without loss of data. A negotiator’s effectiveness doesn’t stop once they leave a meeting or close the office.