Being an entrepreneur means you need to know or learn how to convince people to buy into your idea, product or service and this process is called the art of negotiation. The art of negotiation is a highly-coveted skill that increases your chances of sealing more deals that might lead you to extraordinary success in business and in life.
This art, like every skill, comes naturally for some more than the others. If you believe you are a pro-negotiator, keep honing your skills to stay current in a rapidly-changing world. If you believe you need to learn more about the art of negotiation, here are a few things to note to get started and learn how to negotiate like a pro.[Great Read: 7 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Next Networking Event]
Before You Start Negotiating
Becoming a pro-negotiator is not a status you can acquire overnight. It starts first with a decision you make to become better at it. How do you become better? It starts with preparation.
Thorough preparation brews confidenceSeun Akinlotan, Founder, Onpoint Success
When you are prepared, the chances of failure dwindle drastically. Therefore, it’s best to start by having a clear goal.
Why are you negotiating? What does success look like to you? What are the outcomes you are expecting? What type of media is best suited for the person or entity you are trying to negotiate with?
You should have detailed answers to these questions and as part of your preparation, you can also study mentors who are pro-negotiators. Watch videos, review sample scripts and practice ahead of time. Here are a few things you should think about and have answers to or a strategy for.
- Know you’re the minimum you can accept
- Know all the details
- Structure your presentation in a sequence
- Anticipate and plan how to address objections
- Rehearse as many times as you can
- Schedule an appointment with the decision-maker
- Expect the best
On the day you are scheduled to meet with the person or entity you intend to negotiate with and seal the deal, be sure that you are relaxed and free of distractions. The 10 steps below will help you get the best out of the day.
- Arrive early
- Start the conversation with mutual areas of interest
- Share your presentation. If possible, use visuals and facts/statistics
- Focus more on the benefit to the other party
- Ask questions
- Listen to the other party and address their concerns
- Make an offer
- Ease their fears
- Get them to commit
- Seal the deal
As you share your presentation, you might forget to add some of the things you planned to say. Do not fret or appear distraught. Mistakes are inevitable and even the pros who have lots of experience still make mistakes.
Also, another thing you should bear in mind is that people have the right to make their own decisions. Sometimes, you might give something your best shot and the person might truly need what you are offering and still say, NO. In such cases, expect the best but be prepared to take NO for an answer. In your lifetime, you’ll probably hear more “Nos” than “Yeses”.
A “NO” answer does not mean you are a failure. It just means you should keep going and keep trying until you achieve your goals. The more you keep pushing, the more you reduce the frequency of your Nos and the more you’ll become closer to negotiating like a pro.[Great Read: How to Develop a Business Pitch That Helps You Stand Out]
Irrespective of the outcome of each meeting where you had to negotiate, you should sit down to assess your performance. Rate your performance and write down what you believe you did well, what you didn’t do well and the opportunities you have for improvement.
If you need to address some of the questions raised during the negotiation process, be sure to research, find the right answers and share with the other party. Also, you can follow up with the other party by asking for a quick review depending on the circumstances. The goal is to see areas in which you can improve and sharpen your skills of becoming a pro-negotiator.
Do you think you are a pro-negotiator or not? Kindly share in the comment box.
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