No entrepreneur can grow his or her business without learning how to negotiate. And not just talk for speaking’s sake, but to really make progress with the development of their business.
Top business executives know that negotiating is vital, but it is a skill that has to be developed with time. To ensure you are getting a deal that is beneficial to you and your company, you have to learn how to combine negotiating tactics with psychology, while also remembering your objective.
To assist you in preparing for your next round of negotiations, here are the four high-impact negotiating tactics every entrepreneur needs to master.
The fastest way to become a lousy negotiator is to overlook the importance of listening.
While it is essential that you have some control over the conversation, you don’t want to be the one doing all of the talking.
Instead, focus on your strategy and needs, but also take the time to pay full attention to what the other party is saying. Let them speak uninterrupted, and take note of what they say non-verbally.
You aren’t going to be able to secure a positive negotiation if you don’t know what the other side is wanting. Only through listening will you be able to locate their limitations and the areas in which they are flexible.
Investing in business executive coaching is a fantastic way to hone your listening skills, for example.
That being said, before entering the negotiations, be clear about what you are not in a position to give up. For the talks to be strategic, you have to be clear from the get-go where your limits lie.
Obviously, negotiations most likely require some kind of compromise; however, you can’t lose everything, and you certainly don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are giving up what would have made it strategic.
Both sides of the negotiations can walk away, which makes it challenging to know where the perfect point is. However, not all talks are created equal and, in many scenarios, it is better to have no agreement than one that severely hurts your business.
As an entrepreneur, particularly if you are a start-up, it can be challenging to accept this. After all, you want to progress and grow your business so much that you may be willing to settle for almost anything.
But this is not how you do high-impact negotiations, and you will always be better off in the long-run protecting what is near and dear to your company.
One of the most significant issues that entrepreneurs face when doing negotiations is that they get intimidated by larger or more established parties. It works both ways; more prominent firms presume they can intimidate entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs don’t always believe that they deserve to be part of the negotiations.
Whatever you do, don’t be willing to agree to prices and terms that aren’t advantageous to your company. While you always want to be cordial and open to conversations, you also have to recognize your own bottom line and the value your firm has.
While at first, it can be difficult to say (without fear or hesitation), “I am sorry, but that won’t work for the company or for me,” it is essential to the growth of your business.
And, if you don’t explain why it won’t work, then you aren’t ever going to know if there is a better alternative.
To develop this skill further, consider enrolling in an expert-led training course.
At the conclusion of each conversation, make sure you (or someone from your team) sends a follow-up email that clearly states the positions of each side and the points that were brought up.
Not only does this prove that you were listening intently to the other side, but it also ensures that both parties are on the same page. This allows the two parties to prepare more thoroughly for the next round of talks and reduces the need for anyone to have to re-explain their positions, all of which will lead to a quicker, more productive decision!
What issues have you come across while trying to negotiate as an entrepreneur? What tactics have you found that work best for you? Let us know in the comments below!
With over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing, Annick first worked in the hospitality service industry and then moved to the knowledge industry. She currently works for Informa in the Dubai office, where she oversees marketing for public and inhouse training courses, conferences, exhibitions and managed events across the Middle East and Africa.