Launching a business from the ground up can be a monster of a task. AdvisorSmith says at least 20% of businesses fold within the first year. According to Light Speed, small businesses fail because of numerous reasons such as:
- poor planning.
- failing to handle admin tasks.
- failing to pivot in the face of change.
- poor inventory management.
- not getting enough sales.
Mastering the art of negotiation can help you juggle all these issues to stay afloat. Here are some of key skills to learn.
Learning practical communication skills can make for smoother business contracts. Courses on negotiation say some techniques for communicating effectively include:
Starting with small talk
Before diving into discussions, consider warming the other side up with small talk. This thaws tensions and paves the way for a sound working relationship. Find out the other person’s interests to figure out how to break the ice.
Minding your body language
Your body language and facial expressions can make or break business deals. Trained negotiators typically say that being friendly and keeping an open posture helps create stronger business relationships.
Listening intently and staying engaged allows you get to the root of the other person’s needs. Once you learn their needs, you can find a way to give them what they want in return for what you need.
Despite your best –efforts, negotiations can stall or go sideways. If you dig in your heels and make a stand on a fixed position or negotiation strategy, you could miss out on business opportunities.
So, it’s important to stay flexible. A flexible mindset allows you to explore different options and keep an eye out for shared interests. Flexibility isn’t about moving away from your goals. Rather it’s about the willingness to change how you get there.
You can change course quickly and move from plan B to C if you stay aligned with your goals. You can also review the situation from different angles and adapt your negotiation strategy as needed.
Having a range of different approaches, and the quick thinking to flick between them can help you clinch more deals.
Negotiations can be tense and explosive situations. So, negotiation courses advise mastering emotional intelligence. Staying in control of your emotional state enables you to keep a level head. This in turn helps keep your thought patterns clear and on the ball throughout the discussions.
With high emotional insight, you can learn to quickly read situations and step back before things blow up. This way you can avoid burning bridges that your growing business may need in the future.
Here are some ways to keep a stronger grip on your emotions:
- Take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed.
- Ask for a time-out when you need to compose yourself.
- Identify your main triggers and get ahead of them.
In addition, it’s beneficial to find alternative ways to channel emotions, so you don’t repress negative ones. Repressed emotions tend to burst out at inappropriate times.
Fumbling through papers or frantically scrolling through your screen trying to find answers could throw the entire negotiation off.
The best negotiators always come prepared. This can help boost your confidence and keep you on course. Be ready to answer questions by keeping all necessary details about your business on your fingertips such as the key benefits of your product or service.
Also, uncover any relevant details about your customers such as their:
- personal and professional background
- needs and pain points
- social media activity
Along with your research, it pays to articulate a strategy before you kick off any negotiation.
What offer do you expect to open with? How do you anticipate the other side to counter? Are there options for sweetening the deal if you can’t get your way on the price?
Having a clear strategy and goals in mind can help you stay on track.
In a nutshell, with these skills drawn from the best negotiation courses, you can up your business game and keep your company on the right path.