One thing that most people don’t understand is that negotiation is a skill that everyone needs to develop over time. You need to invest a lot of effort and time if you want to become a good negotiator. In this article, I will share with you some of the negotiation tactics that you need as an entrepreneur. You will come to a realization that negotiation is more of an art. The most important thing is to make sure that you get the most from the negotiation while resulting in a win-win situation. It is meaningless to rejoice when the other party is feeling disadvantaged.
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
One thing I want to assure you is that you have already lost when you enter a negotiation without the right preparation. You should always learn to start with yourself. Even the most experienced negotiators will take time to prepare before getting into any negotiation. Carry out an in-depth research about the other party and get to understand their needs. It is also good to understand the strengths and weakness of the other party. Every negotiation is unique and hence you should take time and prepare for it well. Enlist help professionals such as tech gurus, attorney, and accountants.
2. Pay Close Attention to Pricing
Timing is a critical factor in any negotiation process. You should know what you need to ask for but be careful to place your request at the right time. You will make a big difference when you understand the right timing. There comes a time when you need to press ahead and another time when you have to wait. You need to identify the best time to press for what you would like to get. However, be wary of pushing so hard as this can poison any long-term relationship.
3. Leave Behind Your Logo
As a good negotiator, you should care less about who is getting the credit for successful deals. These experts will prefer to make the other side in the negotiation believe that the final agreement was their idea. Carrying a strong ego can end up ruining your business relationships. You should make the other side to own the outcome even if you came out strongly. This will make a whole difference in your long-term relationships.
4. Ramp-Up Your Listening Skills
Listening is one of the key characteristics of good negotiators. In most cases, a good negotiator will be a great listener who will allow the other people to have the floor while making their case. It is unethical to interrupt when another person is passing his point across. That is what we call to be a good listener. It helps in setting up one of the old maxims of negotiation that states that the person who is first to mention number one loses. Even though this is not always the case, it is always good to sit tight and allow the other side to go in first. You will get to understand their strengths and know how to counter them. A good negotiator will listen most of the time and only talk when it is necessary. Even if the person on the floor does not mention numbers, listening will give you an opportunity to understand their thought. Enhance your listening skills if you want to be a winning negotiator. Listening is among the key negotiation skills that you need to nurture in your personality.
5. You Will Not Get What You Don’t Ask
The other tenet of negotiation is ‘either go high or you will go home.’ Remember to define your highest justifiable price as you prepare for the negotiation. It means that you should be able to defend the order that you set. The trick is knowing how to argue convincingly and you will not fear to aim high. However, do not set any kind of ultimatums. There is nothing like take-it or leave-it offers. Be ready to put your offers on the table and don’t expect anyone to read in between the lines and guess what you want.
6. Anticipate Compromise
You have to be ready to make concessions and plan for some of the possibilities. You don’t go into a negotiation with a rigid stand. The other side is also having the same though and you shouldn’t take their first offer. It could be better than what you had thought but you need to practice your best looks through a polite decline or best look of disappointment. You may never know the other thing you can get from the negotiation process. Your negotiation skills will help you to weigh between various arguments and compromise where possible. Being rigid is not a good element in a successful negotiation process.
7. Offer and Expect a Commitment
The only glue that will keep any deals from unravelling is an unshakable commitment of delivering. You have to make sure that you offer such a comfortable level to the others. Also, don’t get into a deal where the other side doesn’t demonstrate the desire level of commitment.
8. Do Not Absorb the Problems of the Other Party
In the negotiation process, the other party will explain to you all their problems as they try to defend their position. The aim of such a party is to make sure that you share in their problems but this should never be the case. It is good to deal with each of them as they come up and try your level best to solve them. For example, if they have a budget that is too low, there could be other places where you cab get money from.
9. Hold on to Your Principles
As a business owner and an individual, you should be having a set of values and guiding principles that you cannot compromise. These issues have a major role to play in the process of negotiation. In case you discover that the negotiation is crossing those boundaries, don’t accept the deal because you can live without it. You should have your own principles and be keen to stand by them.
10. Close with a Confirmation
As you end the meeting, be keen to recap the points that you have covered and all areas of agreement. This should remain to be the case even if you don’t strike the final deal. Make sure that each party confirms this information. Make a follow-up using appropriate emails or letters. Don’t leave behind any loose ends in the communication process.