5 Best Negotiation Tactics For All Entrepreneurs (New and Old)
Negotiation is the bread and butter for all entrepreneurs.
Negotiation involves tact, active listening skills, assertiveness, and, most importantly, research. It’s an art form frequently used by business owners, freelancers, artists, and more to settle disputes and to achieve a desirable resolution for both parties involved in an agreement.
For some, negotiating comes naturally. They speak, and people listen and want to agree with them. However, for others (including myself), negotiation is learned. Below are the top 5 tactics to use when negotiating to achieve the best results.
Understand Who You’re Negotiating With
The most common reason why most negotiations don’t go people’s way is that they don’t understand the other party’s position: what they want, why they want it, and who they are. Understanding these three facts can ensure that you’re negotiating from a place of knowledge of and respect for the other party.
It can also prevent unnecessary arguments and misunderstandings since you’ll be aware of what you and the individual you’re communicating with want.
Gather All Pertinent Facts
While gathering information on the other party, it’s of the utmost importance to prepare for the negotiation at hand; this looks like setting up an agreed-upon time and place where both parties can meet and understanding who will attend the meeting.
This step also involves understanding your own position as well. How much do you want, how much are you willing to settle for, and what alternatives you’re willing to provide.
(Pro tip: Setting up an end-time for the meeting will save you and the other party unnecessary time and effort spent arguing if an agreement can’t be made.)
Make Your Case
A common mistake many entrepreneurs make when negotiating is jumping straight into discussing their price and product value. As mentioned previously, negotiating is an art. It’s a dance in which both parties just want to go home happy. Therefore, try to build a rapport with the other individual. Say your ‘hellos’, talk about your days, and then move into discussing pricing (this part may seem tedious, but it’s important to show the other person who you are, so they recognize that they’re speaking to another person just like them that has their own needs and wants.)
Now, once you start talking shop, be prepared to demonstrate your value to the other individual, whether that’s your value as a unique artist, a skilled writer, or whatever. And what will really show you as a credible business person is bringing a portfolio of your work. Having visual evidence of what you’re capable of can show the other party that you’re worth the money.
Build Emotional Resilience
Between marketing yourself, doing quarterly taxes, and building your brand, negotiating is probably one of the most emotionally taxing projects done by an entrepreneur. It can be frustrating, tedious, and seemingly even a waste of time. But remember that things you learn negotiating in your professional life will go a long way in your private life when you have to compromise and prove your worth to others.
And now that you know the emotionality of negotiating be prepared to think and communicate clearly while under stress. It’s easy to lose control and insult the other party when they devalue you, but refrain from reducing this conversation to an argument. Express your knowledge and what you want, and listen to the other person. And if it comes down to it, accept the lower value and move on.
Maintain Your Personal Integrity
At the end of the day, you have to live with yourself. If you don’t make this sale, there will be others. However, if you make this sale through nefarious means, such as lying or stealing the work or ideas of others, you will have to hold the knowledge of these deceitful acts for the rest of your life.