Most businessmen will tell you that there are certain essential skills that have to be acquired in order for a business to succeed. One such skill is having the ability to negotiate, and this is particularly important when you’re trying to run and grow a small business. Being able to negotiate successfully is a legitimate business skill that can either make or break your company.
Most businessmen will tell you that there are certain essential skills that have to be acquired in order for a business to succeed. One such skill is having the ability to negotiate, and this is particularly important when you’re trying to run and grow a small business. Being able to negotiate successfully is a legitimate business skill that can either make or break your company. Follow these helpful tips and you’ll become a master negotiator in no time.
Arm yourself with research
Like with most things, the more you prepare for something, the more likely you are to perform optimally – the same applies when it comes to negotiating. Before entering into any discussions, you need to do your research and enter into the negotiation armed with knowledge. You can do things such as study the market, as well as your fellow negotiator and the makeup of his business. The more information you have going into a negotiation, the more likely you’ll be able to argue persuasively and walk away satisfied with the outcome.
Ask and you shall receive
Assertiveness is the mark of a great negotiator and in his eyes,everything is negotiable. When you’re negotiating, you need to show that you’re not afraid to ask for what you want and that you won’t take no for an answer. Having said that though, you need to avoid coming across as aggressive and always ensure that you behave respectfully towards your fellow negotiator, while still looking out for your own interests. Challenge things and ask questions, but do so in polite a manner as possible.
Listening is key
You don’t want to be known as that person who just talks, and talks, and talks. When you’re good at negotiating you’re good at playing investigator too. This ties into the research element of negotiation – by asking questions that require thoughtful answers, you can help garner any added information you may require to complete the deal. You need to remember though: asking important questions will become completely redundant if you don’t listen to the answers. Let listening play a key role in your negotiation style.
Meet their needs
All your research and listening will hopefully give you some much-needed insight into the world of your fellow negotiator, which on top of enabling you to argue convincingly, will also help you to demonstrate how their needs can be met. Part of negotiating is being able to view the situation from the other side’s perspective and then using your observations to satisfy their needs. This by no means implies that you should panda to their every request, but you should at least try your best to satisfy their basic interests. You need to show them that doing business with you will be worth their while.
Something for something
Moving on from the previous tip – you want to keep the other side happy of course, but you should avoid giving something away without receiving something in return. This is a negotiation, after all, and the eventual outcome should leave both parties satisfied. Compromises will have to be made, but they should be made as equally and as fairly as possible. Don’t agree to things that will be to your own detriment.
Know when to walk away
Before a discussion even begins, you need to have limits set in your mind. A strong negotiator will never be afraid to walk away from something if it doesn’t appear to be mutually beneficial for both sides. The last thing you want is to be pushed into a corner and forced to do something that will not, ultimately, benefit you and your business in the way you’d like. You always want to have options when you negotiate and once your limit starts to get challenged, it’s in your best interest to challenge that, and if things don’t change, just to walk away.
Perfecting the art of negotiation is vital to the success of your business. It helps strengthen relationships with your suppliers and vendors, expand your network as well as open the door to future opportunities. It really pays to sharpen those negotiation skills, so what are you waiting for?
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