Negotiation is at the heart of a successful entrepreneurial journey which steers an entrepreneur through the twists and turns of game-changing business contracts and deals. Our day-to-day life revolves around negotiating for our needs and wants but for business matters, negotiation skills are exclusively crucial because your company’s sustenance and your customers’ demands are directly dependent on how effectively you are able to work out and win the deal at hand.
Negotiation is an art that not everyone can master and for an entrepreneur, it serves as a core component for winning business deals, persuading investors and sustaining customers in the long-run.
Here are 5 effective strategies every entrepreneur must consider for success in their business dealings:
1. They come prepared
Successful entrepreneurs rely on solid preparatory work they conduct before coming to the negotiation. The preparation involves thorough research of the parties involved, check into their background and history, how they run their business and also connecting with their current or former business partners to know their area of expertise. The idea is to know your counter parties well enough, so you are able to nurture your strengths while targeting their weaknesses at the negotiation table.
As a buyer, you must know every detail of the products and services you are interested in buying, playing with the psychology of your seller through anticipating their moves and being certain about your wants in order to show up as a strong negotiator. Moreover, as a seller, you must have an empowering position at the table to strike the deal of your choice.
“When you negotiate you must be prepared to compromise.” – Nelson Mandela
2. They keep their ego and emotions aside
Business negotiations are challenging because it is a tug of war between the diverging needs and wants of various parties – but, successful entrepreneurs with their prep work, have the assurance and confidence of how to go about intense haggling. Intense situations elicit emotions and embark on one’s ego easily hence, it is always advised to leave them both at the door while objectively targeting a neutral standpoint while getting what you need and subsequently, not losing too much. Letting your emotions and ego run the show will bring about negative consequences, and make you lose more than you gain. For a successful path forward, negotiate with a poker face.
3. They are the controllers rather than “in control”
Successful entrepreneurs know how to play their game. They always rehearse a scenario before actually jumping in and beating the opposing players. Going through the possibilities and opportunities beforehand brings confidence and assurance on your goals.
It also helps you focus more on your opponent’s moves and makes you less attached to the outcome. Hence, it is always recommended that you role-play a negotiation deal with your friend or colleague with your preparatory work. Remember, the more you practice, the better you get at the game.
4. They know their exit points
Negotiation is a mindset. A successful entrepreneur never makes any contract a “big deal”, rather he relies on his knowledge, goals and areas of interests to make decisions. He remains focused on his motives, thus setting aside his ego and emotions which later aids/helps him in steering through with strength and maintaining a dominating position at the negotiation table.
Coming prepared and knowing your objective, helps you determine when to walk away and not to force the deal on yourself just to get stuck on the opportunity at hand. Staying too biased on your objectives is also not considered ideal. Your neutrality is the key component here.
“My father said: You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
5. They strive for a win-win solution
Successful entrepreneurs are not too self-centered, they keep in touch with the opposing party’s priorities the same way they value theirs. Keeping in consideration your own position, try to satisfy your counter party’s interests while remaining intact with your conceding offers. Have thorough knowledge of your limitations, what you can easily give away and how to strike a deal benefiting each other.
Professional negotiators know how to effectively satisfy the other party making them believe that they got the best offer even when they didn’t. It helps bring contentment at the final hand-shake, leading to successful prospects of business dealings in the long-run.