When you want to close a deal, one of the most important steps is making sure that both parties see things eye-to-eye. How many opportunities have you missed because you weren’t able to find a mutual agreement? Sometimes, it is more about communication than it is about the deal itself.
Having good negotiation skills isn’t only about advocating for yourself to close the sale. This process is also about finding a win-win situation for everyone involved. Negotiation can be an artful practice that finds the right scenarios together, helping you move forward with the best deal that works for both sides. Here are a few negotiation tips every business owner needs to know:
Make it Personal If you want to succeed in negotiation, then it’s all about the connection between people. Your attitude and communication set a tone. Either you create conditions where both parties are working together, or you make the situation adversarial: me vs. you. Since the goal is to create a mutually beneficial agreement, you need to understand the details that will meet the needs of the other person. Know who they are and what motivates them. This information can be a powerful way to communicate in a way they understand.
Open Communication – Always! One mistake is trying to push a point through without full communication with the other party. Even if you know that something will be helpful for the deal, you need to be open about any changes or adjustments to the agreement. Trust is built by sharing information. Instead of trying to be secretive about your intentions, look for ways you can be open and honest about what you are trying to achieve. This clear communication builds a strong foundation that you can use to move forward together.
Discuss More Items Asking for the bare minimum might seem like a smart strategy to avoid overwhelm in the negotiation. Sometimes, people use this strategy because they are worried about upsetting the other person – and killing the deal. Instead of tip-toeing around these important issues, be clear about everything you need. Understand that some of these points will be cut out of the deal. Asking for what you want increases the possibility that you will get everything you’d like. If some of the points are used as negotiations, then you have a bit of wiggle room to improve the overall outcome of the deal.
Negotiate Non-Monetary Points While money is often the main topic of conversation, the financial picture isn’t the only driving force in the deal. Look for non-tangibles that can be worked into the deal, helping to improve the overall outcome for both parties. For example, if you reach a point where you don’t think there’s a solution, think outside the box to find a way to sweeten the deal. Adding more value to this agreement (in terms of products or services offered) could be the key to closing the deal.
Find the Points of Agreement It’s easy to slip into the pattern of focusing on all of the disagreements in the negotiation. While these points of concern need to be addressed, don’t overlook the items where you agree. Finding the “yes” in the deal helps to build common ground and relatability between everyone involved. Then, it’s easier to get through the difficult points because you’ve created a stronger relationship from the beginning.
These tips can help you move forward in finding the right circumstances that boost confidence and trust in the deal. Ultimately, you need to be willing to look at the situation with empathy to understand the other person’s point of view. Then, be proactive in finding the points that help both sides feel like they are getting the better end of the deal.
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