The room was filled with 40+ highly successful entrepreneurs.
Out of curiosity, I asked, ‘How many of you consider yourselves ‘ultra-negotiators’?’ Only three hands went up.
Next, I inquired, ‘How many of you feel like you’re not strong negotiators and need to improve your negotiation skills?’
Amazingly, only one-third raised their hands.
Finally, I asked, ‘How many of you consider yourself strong negotiators and try to avoid negotiation as long as you can?’
Only 60% of the people raised their hands.
As an entrepreneur, negotiation is one of the key skills and only 60% of the people are motivated to learn about it. Businesses fail because the founders don’t take the time to master negotiation strategies and work on them.
Worry not. I will be sharing 5 must-learn negotiation strategies which can help you close the most impossible deal and get more customers to fall in love with your brand.
The 5 Negotiation Strategies You Must Learn
1. Be very clear on your negotiation goals
Pretty obvious right? Wrong! Most of the people go into a negotiation without realizing what they want to walk away with.
To get clear right from the start, ask these three questions before going into a meeting:
What is the best possible outcome?
If you’re selling a product, what is the realistic price that you are negotiating? What are your expectations with the client?
What is the main theme of the meeting?
Are you selling a product? Or you’re re-negotiating an old contract? What is your plus point that you need to mention in the meeting?
What is your plan B?
If things don’t turn out the way you want, what will be your plan B?
Of course, there is no one right answer for the above questions but surely you need to answer all of these before you enter in the negotiation chamber.
For the reasons you’ll understand later, these questions will add great value to your conversation.
2. Understand your core strategy
After you’ve answered all the questions, you need to proceed with a core negotiation strategy.
The hardest part to negotiate anything is to find a doorway with which you can enter and close the deal.
For instance, if you’re buying equipment worth $700, it is good to spend 5-10 minutes online to see what the competitors are offering and negotiate on the USP.
My friend owns a 7,000 sq. foot commercial building and government wanted to buy a plot in front of her property which would kill her parking space.
I asked her what she will tell the city planning representative. She said she would say that the plot will decrease the value of her property.
I asked her to change the negotiation strategy from value to the trucks that will park in the property which can compromise the security and safety of the neighborhood. This worked.
Asking these types of questions can help you create a core negotiation strategy.
Whether you want to get a better price or a client to accept your offer, you need to keep asking the questions which will move you closer to the best possible outcome.
3. Use your negotiation signature
This is just like a ‘signature’ in your email that helps the recipient know who sent it. Negotiating with a signature will help you to establish your style, and negotiate with better preferences.
Some people go there and negotiate the price. Other prefer to build a rapport before they negotiate anything.
Some people make a swift change of mode from conversation to negotiation mode.
Figure out your own style, personality and sort out the behavior with which you negotiate.
Which signature is helping you out? What changes do you need to craft a more persuasive signature?
4. Build motivation
The best way to build motivation is to ask questions about their competition.
For instance, if you’re negotiating with an IT vendor, tell them about your IT infrastructure and why it is creating a problem for you.
This will motivate them to listen to your deal and accept it as you’ve mentioned their competitors and you want the IT vendor to close the deal.
This one of the best negotiation strategies for entrepreneurs is also known as building the counterpart’s motivation. Asking a question regarding competitors will help you to negotiate a better deal without much effort.
5. Play the reluctant party
This I learned from my father. As a kid, whenever I liked something at a toy store, if the price was higher than what I expected, my father would tell me to leave the store right after asking for the price.
This shows the shopkeeper that the customer is not interested now, but if the price is lower, the boy might buy the toy. And the strategy worked throughout my childhood.
It is human nature that one party will be eager, and the other party – not. This might not be true all the time but 80% of the time this will be the case.
So, assume that your negotiation is in the 80%. Use your body language to show your reluctance.
Manipulate your voice to a lazy tone. Look away a few times to show that you’re not interested in the offer.
Lower your pitch to show lack of interest. Or consider adding some extra conditions which negotiating terms which will allow the other party to think that you’re not interested and offer a better deal instead.
After studying negotiation strategies for 20 years, I can tell that these 5 worked for me in many instances. You can try them out and see which one is working for you.
Remember, this is just a negotiation. If there is a clash between your terms and saving a relation, go for the relation. Deals come and go but relationships need to be saved.
Just keep a positive attitude when negotiating a deal. To grow your business you need to learn and master these negotiation strategies.
About The Author
Mohammad Ali is an experienced digital marketer and a search engine marketing specialist who is currently associated with Branex, as a senior digital marketer and brand strategist.