Whether you realise it or not, so much of your life is based around negotiation. But if you’re an entrepreneur and driving your own business, negotiation is critical.
Make no mistake: the most successful of entrepreneurs go in with a game plan. They’re not seeking to be popular or labeled ‘nice’. They’re looking to seal the deal on every occasion.
So, if you know negotiating doesn’t come naturally to you, we’ve put together 5 steps that’ll help to get your negotiation skills where they need to be.
Ask for what you want
In the art of negotiation, there’s no room for skirting around the subject or being tactful. Be assertive without being aggressive, and question anything you need to in the moment. Don’t rely on follow-up emails to do the job for you if you’re a little shy or not all that confident within yourself.
Always be prepared
It’s hard to negotiate with another party if you don’t know anything about them. When you walk into any meeting or catch-up session, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is key. Of course, knowing the other party’s strengths and weaknesses is also highly beneficial so that you can structure your pitch accordingly.
Know what is negotiable on your end
Chances are, you’re going to have some factors that are negotiable and others that just aren’t. Know each of these and remain firm regardless of the events that unfold. There is no room for emotion when it comes to negotiation.
Make sure you listen
One of the biggest flaws people tend to have is that they don’t listen. The best negotiators will ask what they need to and then listen intently. If you do struggle with negotiating, this really works in your favour because you’re allowing the other party to do most of the talking and to steer the conversation. Just make sure you don’t wind up being totally silent – doing so definitely won’t help your cause.
Aim for a win-win for all
Fact: people love talking about themselves and their worries. Remember, when you’re negotiating, you need to consider the other party’s needs as well. It’s not all about you… successful negotiators often have the knack for making others believe what they are suggesting will benefit them immensely.
If you’ve read this list and are feeling intimidated, remember that like everything else, this all gets easier with practice. The best negotiators have spent years honing their skills.
And hey, there’s no harm in asking mentors for advice either.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s been through this tough journey already, share how you managed to overcome your fears and worries.
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