Not every business owner, sales person or entrepreneur is comfortable dealing with negotiations. A lot of people fear the conflicting nature of negotiations. Nonetheless, running a company, business or startup is impossible without bargaining with vendors, employees, investors, and customers. Here are 7 powerful words for entrepreneurs who want to win negotiations and help their businesses thrive.
Success and influence in business depend on relationships. It’s never a good idea to manipulate, demean, use or pressure opponents. Creating a hostile environment when negotiating and using unethical techniques to get what you want will affect your business in the long run. It will make people hate you and your business, and if you cross paths again, nobody will ever want to work with you again. Use negotiations to create relationships, be respectful with opponents and they’ll help your business have a good reputation.
Having leverage in business negotiations means that you’re using a small advantage to create a much larger advantage. Answer yourself this: What sets your business apart? What makes it different, unique? Whatever the answer, use that advantage to get the most out of a negotiation. Let’s assume that you’re selling umbrellas; but unlike most manufacturers, your product is 100% sustainable. Because there’s nobody else selling sustainable umbrellas, you can use that advantage to ask for better incentives, both financial and non-financial.
Entrepreneurs should know that winning negotiations is impossible without compromise. You have to make concessions if you want to get concessions. And yet, the whole process is not that easy. Entrepreneurs must understand that concessions are extremely powerful when a counterpart sees your demands as reasonable and serious. Never assume that actions speak for themselves, because they’re not. Opponents are used to downplaying, overlooking and ignoring your concessions since their goal is to avoid the social duty to counter. Make concessions salient to opponents if you want to win negotiations.
Know when to shut up during a business negotiation. Most entrepreneurs have the bad habit of talking too much. That’s certainly not a very good idea, especially if you’re dealing with people that are more experienced than you. Calm down, speak fluently and reasonably, and never beat around the bush when you’re trying to explain something.
Before entering a negotiation of any type, you have to do your homework. Research as much as you can about your opponents, know their business (strengths and weaknesses), and be ready to answer a lot of questions about your company as well. Know your numbers – that’s the golden rule of successful negotiations for entrepreneurs.
In business negotiations, “no” can mean a lot. First of all, it’s the perfect word to say when a deal doesn’t live up to your expectations. Entrepreneurs shouldn’t hesitate to reject offers that can’t be negotiable anymore; however, make sure that you’re not doing it with arrogance. Walking away from a negotiation is never easy. Yet, when there’s no way of reaching a mutual agreement with an opponent, there’s no reason for you to try and bargain any longer. Time is of the essence in business. Always leave room for future collaborations though. Even if you decided to walk away, you should still do it politely and with poise.
Entrepreneurs dealing with negotiations should first and foremost respect their opponents. Ethics is vital in business. Do the right thing, ask for what you want, make a first offer, compromise, negotiate, but whatever you do, do it with respect. Let counterparts know the person behind the brand, be fair and showcase your candid, transparent personality. Sneaky negotiation strategies only work for a limited period of time. In time, those strategies will make you and your company seems shallow, devious, and unreliable.
Do you have what it takes to win negotiations? Are you an honest entrepreneur who cares for the future of his company? Then that’s everything you need to thrive in business. It’s amazing how much you can achieve when you know what you want from a deal. Most entrepreneurs make the huge mistake of entering a negotiation unprepared. Just because you’re a powerful brand it doesn’t counterparts will want to do business with you. Showcase the value of your company to draw their attention and reach mutual ground.
By Steve Brown and TheGapPartnership.com!