Being able to negotiate is an essential skill for any business owner and can be the difference between a business’s success and failure. Whether you are trying to strike a deal with a vendor or discussing a potential employee’s salary, it’s important that you are able to reach an agreement that makes sense for your business’s bottom line. Here are five tips that will make you a better negotiator and help you thrive in today’s competitive business climate:
- Know When to Listen
Making yourself heard is important during negotiation, but knowing when to stop talking and listen is also critical. While you may feel passionate about your position, actively listening to the other party’s opinions is not only polite, but it can also give you the key information you need to reach a deal. Allow the other to speak their side so that you know exactly what’s at stake.
- Be Aware of Your Body Language
Our body language has a significant impact on how others perceive us and even how we feel about ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy gave an excellent TED Talk on the subject that is a must-watch for anyone trying to become better at negotiating. Using “power poses” that make your body expansive and open will not only make you appear more confident, but they can help you feel more confident as well. Next time you’re negotiating, sit up straight, make direct eye contact, and avoid crossing your arms or folding your hands.
- Make an Aggressive (But Realistic) Offer
Many negotiators are afraid to ask for too aggressive of an offer because they fear they will be turned down or scare away the other party for good. However, research suggests that those who make an aggressive (yet realistic) first offer are more likely to reach a better outcome than those who make a nonaggressive offer. This is because putting forth a nonaggressive offer already puts you in a position where you are making concessions to get what you want. Just be careful that you don’t make the other party feel like they are being taken advantage of.
- Be Prepared to Walk Away
At the same time, you must also face the fact that making an aggressive first offer can possibly derail negotiations and cause the other party to walk away. Assuming that you didn’t throw out some unrealistic offer, it may be in your best interest to let them walk.
Likewise, it’s important that you yourself be prepared to walk away at any time. If you reveal how desperate you are to reach a deal, the other party can use this to their advantage. Chances are good that the other party doesn’t want to lose a customer and by being prepared to walk away, you can put yourself in a better position to get what you want.
- Gain Their Trust
Building trust between both parties is important for a successful negotiation. Without trust, achieving an outcome that pleases both parties isn’t very likely. If one party is suspicious of the other, they are not going to want to do business with them. To build their trust, you need to make concessions of your own and put yourself out there. If they can do the same, your deal will be more likely to benefit both parties.
Negotiating For Success
Negotiating isn’t easy, which is why you need every advantage you can get. With these tips, you can become a better negotiator and give your business a better shot at success. To help your negotiations further, YourOffice Ballantyne has five business-ready meeting rooms that are perfect for impressing your clients and reaching deals that boost your bottom line. Give us a call or contact us here for more details!