5 Negotiation Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Have (A Must Read)

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Whether we realize it or not, we engage in negotiations all the time. Most especially as entrepreneurs, negotiations are critical to the success and survival of our businesses. From suppliers to customers, investors and even employees, there is always a deal or something in the offing to negotiate for.

It is for this reason you have to perfect your negotiation skills in preparation for the endless deals that would be made during the course of business.

Here are 5 essential negotiation skills to guide you:

Firstly, Do Your Research
Be prepared. The most important thing to do is to carry out a study on the other party involved. Gather all necessary information that you can lay your hands on. This will help you build a strong proposal and identify their strength and weaknesses. With this, you can organize your case highlighting your own strengths.

Rapport- building
Build a rapport with the other party to help you form a connection. You need to be able to communicate strongly about your business and other lighter subject areas. This way, you are less likely to be viewed as an enemy. You can understand each other better and reach an agreement satisfactory to both parties. Spend few minutes on lighter topics and you can even show u with snacks.

Promote dialogue
If you monopolize the conversation without giving the other party an opportunity to participate and make their points, you are only making it easier for the other party to refuse. This is because promoting dialogue shows you value their thoughts and enhances trust and cooperation. It also allows you to actively listen and get valuable insights into their plans.

Emotional Objectivity
You need to be able to remain calm and think clearly during any negotiation process. The moment you show emotions such as anger, frustration, disappointment or anxiety, you disclose your vulnerabilities. Once you sense you are loosing control of yourself, excuse yourself for a short break to visit the bathroom or get something to drink. You should also pause and take deep breaths before speaking to avoid you saying anything unnecessary.

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A good negotiator should be flexible and know when to give in sometimes when discussing a deal. You need to learn how to play with a range of possibilities offered. Just as you need to be flexible sometimes, you also need to know when to walk away. Be prepared to walk away when you are compromising so much that the deal is no longer worth it. To carry this out well, you need to go prepared knowing what your minimum offer is and what cannot be accepted. A quick tip is do not succumb to pressure to put your minimum offer on paper.

Negotiation is a learned skill. Therefore it is not something you can master in a day. You need to keep practicing to become perfect. The best negotiators are those that know how to strike a balance between what they want and giving out. Never give out information without getting something in return. Also work with your instincts and intuition. You can also learn by tagging along with someone great at this so you can learn.

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