Every successful entrepreneur needs to negotiate with partners, investors and suppliers whenever they must define agreements or fix roles. Developing competent negotiation skills is essential for entrepreneurs, whose lives depend on these negotiations. When it comes to negotiating with business partners, most entrepreneurs follow some simple steps to succeed.
Preparation is the key to success
Preparation is essential in every negotiation, and its final outcome basically depends on the amount of time assigned to the process of preparation. This process usually consists in collecting the necessary data and analyzing it, in order to make up a good negotiation strategy. When entrepreneurs take their time to prepare themselves, they usually do whatever they can to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors, as well as the obstacles that may arise. Skilled negotiators do their best to identify some of the potential problems that can appear during a negotiation by asking all types of different probing questions.
When negotiating with their business partners, entrepreneurs need to do whatever they can in order to understand their objectives clearly. The most successful negotiators identify both their requirements and goals before starting the process of negotiation, in order to set up two limits between which they negotiate: one limit is represented by the best case scenario, while the other one deals with bottom-line objectives.
Negotiations fail when one of the parties is not able to express its goals and requirements clearly. Entrepreneurs who negotiate with their business partners should express themselves clearly and talk confidently. One of the best articulation methods implies using quantitative figures based on possible obstacles that will affect the bottom-line of the business. This way, both parties will understand the implications and the impact of the agreement.
Listening is compulsory during negotiations. Even good negotiators can experience difficulties when it comes to paying attention to their counterparts’ points of view. This usually happens because everybody feels the need to focus more on their own opinions and points of view. However, this mistake should be avoided during negotiations, especially when your counterparts are actually your business partners. Entrepreneurs should listen carefully to what the other participants have to say, and analyze their words in order to extract as much information as possible.
A lot of entrepreneurs turn to intimidation during negotiations. Intimidation implies a thorough analysis on both your situation and that of your counterpart; the goal is to use your strengths to point out the other participants’ weaknesses. However, when it comes to business partners, negotiators shouldn’t use intimidation, since the relationship between them should be based on confidence and close cooperation. Intimidation doesn’t influence business relationship in a positive way. In fact, it can even put an end to the cooperation between entrepreneurs and their business partners.
Successful negotiations are usually based on win-win approaches. Bear in mind that business partners are actually co-owners of a certain business or people who have had something to do with its success. As a result, both parties want to achieve success, the only differences of opinions between them being the ways in which they plan to achieve success. Once common grounds are identified, entrepreneurs find it easier to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
If entrepreneurs want their negotiations to be successful, they’re advised to think of multiple solutions. Sometimes, the fear of being considered too weak prevents one of the parties from accepting a certain proposal made by the other side, regardless of its benefits. This is when multiple solutions are successful, as they give the other side the freedom to pick the one they like most.
Patience is crucial as far as business negotiations are concerned. Some of them can imply a wide range of negative feelings and thoughts, making one of the parties become willing to accept several useless concessions in order to finally reach an agreement. However, this impatience can make things worse sometimes. When one of the parties become impatient and begins to force the other one, all you have to do is ask for a break. The atmosphere will be different afterwards, as all the participants will have calmed themselves by that time.
Good negotiators turn to this strategy sometimes, when they notice that their counterparts remain obdurate. However, the decision to walk away implies also some risks, as the other party has the right to refuse another possible meeting. Besides, the fact that one of the parties walks away sends a powerful message that negotiators have used all possible strategies in vain.
Author Bio: Davis Miller wrote this wonderful article. He provides workshops at negotiation through his site http://www.thegappartnership.com.au/ in 12 languages in over 50 countries. Apart he loves to do video chatting at his free time.