If you’re interested in running a small business or are already an entrepreneur, you probably realize how beneficial negotiation skills are when working for yourself.
No matter which industry you’re in, being able to work on convincing other people to offer you more favorable terms or additional information will stand you in good stead over the years.
For example, you may need to negotiate with investors, lenders, business partners, suppliers, employees, manufacturers, journalists, board members and other people during the course of business.
To become adept at negotiation, consider studying a degree at university that will teach you these skills, such as an MBA. If you’re worried about getting into this kind of program, check out online MBA requirements and you’ll see that it’s easier to enter than you might have thought.
To get you started negotiating more effectively, there is some key information you need to know. Read on for some negotiation tips you can follow today.
Know What You Want to Achieve
When it comes to negotiating, one of the fundamental elements is knowing what it is you want to achieve before you enter any discussions.
By the time an agreement is made, what outcomes are you looking for?
In particular, get clear on your bottom line. That is, what is the lower possible number you would accept, or your number-one priority you need to have agreement on for the deal to be acceptable to you?
Keep in mind that successful negotiations typically don’t involve you getting everything you wish for. Instead, they occur when you get something that falls somewhere on the scale between your ultimate goal and the bottom line, as mentioned above.
Depending on the negotiations, sometimes you’ll end up on the higher scale, sometimes on the lower scale or somewhere in the middle of the two.
It’s helpful to think about a Plan B for your negotiating.
For example, if you can’t get the top things you really want, what is something else that would also make you happy, that you could ask for instead?
You may find that the people you’re dealing with will happily say yes to something else that means a lot to you but that isn’t difficult or costly for them to offer. Think about having a few options then, so you have more to negotiate with.
Spend Time Preparing
Next, always ensure you do enough preparation before you enter a negotiating arena.
For example, it’s vital that you do some research on the person or parties you will be dealing with during the negotiations as well as the company they represent or work for.
The more you learn about those you’ll be discussing things with, the more information you’ll have available to use to your benefit.
In particular, try to determine what is especially important to the opposition and how far they may be willing to go to close the deal.
Wherever possible, gain insights from the current or previous business associates of the parties you’ll be negotiating with.
Plus, check out online resources for aspiring entrepreneurs, and books, newspapers and articles to learn helpful information.
Develop a Strategy
To get the most out of negotiations, you should have a strategy in place that you can utilize during discussions.
Think about ways of speaking and using body language. Confidence is key, as is seeming open and reasonably friendly.
You want to look for signs of what the other parties are thinking but not saying in their body language, too.
In addition, remember to listen. You need to avoid talking only about your desires, but stop and take in what the other side is really asking for.
Also, strategize points you can make which will help steer results in your favor. Consider concessions you’d be open to making to close the deal.
For instance, you might be willing to negotiate on the length of the agreement or on particular terms within it. Knowing these things in advance can make it easier to offer concessions during negotiations and gain some more ground when you need to.
Find Some Commonalities
Another key way to get better results during negotiations is to try to find some commonalities between yourself and other people during conversations.
If you can discover things that you’re both happy to agree on straightaway, this will mean you can sign off on some elements of the agreement at the beginning of negotiations.
This is important because it helps everyone to feel more positive about the discussions and sets a good tone moving forward.