Negotiating deals is vital for any business startup. Unfortunately, negotiations may seem complex for many startups, as business owners assume there must be a winner and a loser. Although this fact is not far from the truth, it remains that the best negotiations are those that incorporate terms from both parties involved. Win-win situations are thus the way to go. This post discusses five negotiation tips that successful business owners use when negotiating acquisitions, deals, or even partnerships.
Five Tips to Get the Art of Negotiation Right
Although there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to get negotiations right, here are five tips to help you negotiate like a pro.
Clearly State Your Intent
A statement of intent sets the tone for what to achieve from the process. Ensure that you put on paper the desirable outcomes. Before entering into any negotiation, first, understand your goals. Once the intentions are set right, you can formulate a strategy to achieve them. Some of the questions to help you get started are:
- What do you want?
- Why are you pursuing it?
- What will make you happy?
Be Prepared Before the Negotiations
Early preparations start with performing research. It makes it easier for you to navigate negotiations. Thorough research is paramount and gives you insight into your counterpart’s needs and objectives. As a business startup, do your homework on the other party. Find out about their interests and objectives. In addition, ensure that beforehand, you are knowledgeable of the subject matter being negotiated. As a startup, this gives you reliable and sufficient information to set realistic goals.
Be An Active Listener
In any negotiation, active listening is a formidable weapon. To master this skill, you need to invest in genuinely listening to your counterparts. They also have their own needs and desires too. When you actively listen, you better understand all the points they are driving at as well as their concerns. Silent pauses can be very beneficial in the process as it allows both parties to take time and reflect on what has been said.
Be Open-Minded and Willing to Compromise
Flexibility translates into a business tact that will, without a doubt, drive business growth. For instance, do not view it as a win-lose scenario. Successful negotiations are those that end with both parties feeling good about the meeting. It is important to remember that sometimes you have to give in order to get. An example is the three-year dispute between Kraft Foods and Starbucks over the distribution of Starbucks coffee in grocery stores. The negotiations ended with legal arbitration, where Starbucks had to pay $2.75 billion for a breach of its agreement with Kraft.
Keep Your Emotions and Ego at Bay
It is common for negotiations to spark heated emotions, and most people easily get frustrated by the process. What differentiates successful entrepreneurs from the rest is their ability to control their emotions during negotiation. Negative displays of emotions can have adverse effects on a business. For instance, anger is a destructive emotion that will likely drive investors away. If the other party is unwilling to make a deal in your best interests, be prepared to walk away rather than argue. In addition, if you find yourself getting emotional, take a break and ask yourself what triggered the emotion.
What Happens If an Agreement Is Not Reached?
Successful negotiations end with a final agreement, and both parties sign a treaty. Thereafter, the real work of building long-term relationships begins. In negotiations, both parties must be able to find common ground, but not all negotiations can reach a favorable agreement. However, there is no cause for alarm if an agreement is not reached. Simply schedule future meetings to conduct the negotiations again. Some tips to prepare for the subsequent negotiations are to review what took place in the previous meeting and critically analyze the concerns of your counterparts.
If you implement the five tips, you are on your way to mastering the art of negotiation. As a new business startup, without a doubt, your first experience negotiating will be quite challenging. Nevertheless, with practice, you will quickly master the art. Furthermore, by mastering the art of negotiation, you cultivate long-term relationships with your counterparts and set a good foundation for future partnerships.
Bite of Ink is a marketer who turned content writer. Based in Nevada, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and I found my perfect job writing about customer journey mapping, designing service touchpoints, service design thinking, service design tools and techniques, co-creation in service design, and service blueprinting. I am also a yoga enthusiast, avid cook, and proud cat lover. My cat’s name is Kiki, and she is a constant source of joy and entertainment in my life. In my free time, I love to explore the outdoors and seek out new adventures.