negotiating skills

Negotiation Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Adapt

Negotiation is a must for every entrepreneur in business, whether negotiating prices with suppliers or trying to acquire customers and deals, a business cannot exist without negotiation. To be an effective entrepreneur, you need to have good negotiation skills, an entrepreneur stands or falls depending on how successfully he is able to negotiate his business deals.

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Negotiation is most time thought of being a skill that is innate but it can be learned since it’s both an art and science. Successful entrepreneurs take their time to develop the negotiation skills that give them an advantage over other entrepreneurs. It takes time and practice to master negotiation skills because every deal will be unique, and you’ll need to use the right approach every time.

Top negotiation skills every entrepreneur should have.

Good communication skills.

As an entrepreneur, you have to talk to anybody and everybody that you do business with. A good negotiator should also have good communication skills, agreements are reached through communication.  You should be able to speak confidently about your business, your products or services, and why you feel you’d be a good fit with your potential client or investor. You also must be prepared to answer relevant questions to the negotiation, like financial or sales questions. You don’t have to be the world’s best speaker but you should have some amount of comfort when you negotiate about your business.

Have balanced emotions.

Emotions play a role in negotiation, for better or worse. Be confident enough as you have done your background research on the other party and most importantly have a check on your ego. When you are free from your ego and emotions, you can then think objectively and make a flexible deal. To be a successful negotiator, one must think well even in a stressful situation and find common grounds, you should be able to pick the emotions of the person or people you are negotiating with and quickly figure out what they are implying. During the arguments be neutral and control your thoughts and emotions. Don’t be rigid in your arguments, have a calm mind, and think productively which helps both of you

Have a negotiating signature.

Negotiation signature is how you will always approach negotiations and it’s usually in a similar manner with each negotiation. Understanding your negotiating signature allows you to recognize what you’re working with. This is a basic advance toward growth as a negotiator, in light of the fact that there’s one thing you can ensure with regards to negotiations: Every time you negotiate, you’ll be there. You can’t leave yourself outside the room while the negotiation is going on, so it’s important to also know your own characters and styles.

Strategic thinking.

Before you think of negotiating effectively, you have to think deliberately and be self-aware of the outcome. You have to know your strengths and shortcomings as well as the other party’s strengths and shortcomings. Doing this will help you with abstaining from being overused by the other party when negotiating.

Ability to perceive and exploit power.

When you negotiate, you’re trying to establish a balance between getting what you want and agreeing with what the other party wants. Entrepreneurs who are good negotiators are able to strike that balance between getting what they want and what they are giving away in the business. When negotiating, don’t give information away without getting something in return. Be sure to reciprocate with additional questions after providing a response. Use your instincts and intuition to read out the situation in the room. Should you walk away, or do both parties have a chance at getting something out of the deal?

Negotiate optimistically.

When you are negotiating, have faith and compassion. It is commonly observed that in negotiations we tend to become defensive as we wish to make the best deal in our favor. But if each other knows their strengths and weaknesses, it will be easy to come to a win-win situation. Feel comfortable setting the deal and think optimistically rather than turning off the deal. In this case, both can have mutual benefits.

Personal integrity.

Even if you don’t make a sale on the first negotiation, your reputation is on the line. Product knowledge is critical, but so are your attitude and behaviors. You’re trying to form a business relationship, so make it as easy as possible for potential clients to want to work with you. Listen carefully, be patient, and don’t forget to have a little fun. It’s never too serious at some times, just keep professionalism.

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Negotiation skills are a must for every entrepreneur, no business is an island. There are interactions almost every day in the business cycle, there are customers to be acquired and suppliers to deal with, deals need to be stricken and relationships to be maintained, for these reasons one needs to have good communication skills, ability to exploit power, personal integrity, negotiate optimistically, be a strategic thinker, have their negotiating signature and finally know how to balance their emotions when negotiating.

Mombasa, Kenya.

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