Do you want to leverage nearly everything in your favor? The world would certainly be your oyster if everyone agreed with you. Luckily for entrepreneurs, honing key negotiation tactics will allow you to get the outcomes you want.
Negotiation is absolutely an art form that takes time and practice to perfect. Skipping over negotiation tactics as an entrepreneur could be a costly mistake to the innovative idea you have developed into a reality.
“Entrepreneurship requires convincing others—your startup co-founders, angel investors, venture capitalists, employees, and potential business partners—to commit their knowledge, time, reputation, expertise, and money to your idea,” suggests Lawrence Susskind of MIT Technology Review.
Do you want to cultivate meaningful relationships and leverage the win-win that maximizes your entrepreneurial efforts and helps your reputation? The following negotiation tactics every entrepreneur must master will serve as your guide to entrepreneurial success.
Establish Relationships First
As a savvy entrepreneur, you want to approach every negotiation like a first date. There is a short “get to know you” period that allows two parties at the negotiation table to chat candidly with each other prior to getting down to business.
Establishing a relationship first allows you to get a feel for your negotiation partner. Be honest, sincere, and ask concise questions that will create a common ground and foundation of trust to build from.
Harvard Law School explains, “Positive negotiation relationships in negotiation are important not because they engender warm, fuzzy feelings, but because they engender trust – a vital means of securing desired actions from others.”
Silence is Powerful
There is a rhythm to a negotiation, and trying to fill every step of the process with talking can often damage your ability to leverage what you want. Adding a bit of silence at the negotiation table can certainly be valuable.
Lance Morrow, American essayist for Time Magazine said it best, “Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously.”
Your negotiation partner may offer more concessions or reveal a weakness during periods of silence. Remember, negotiation is a marathon and not a sprint, so use silence to your advantage.
Never Lose Sight of the Win-Win
Entrepreneurs rely heavily on the relationships they make, especially if you are in the launching stages. You also never know when you may find a relationship to be valuable until that crucial moment arrives.
Ever hear the phrase, “Don’t burn bridges?” Never losing sight of the win-win at the negotiation table is all about keeping those bridges flame retardant.
Your win-win negotiation strategy should include . . .
- Establishing trust
- Sharing information
- Focusing on interests and not positions
- Solving problems together
You want your negotiation partner to walk away feeling as good as you when it’s all said and done with contracts signed. After all, they may become long time partners in advancing your bottom line.
Honing these three negotiation tactics can give you the power and confidence to leverage nearly anything at the negotiation table. Remember, negotiation is all about relationships and building rapport within your industry and those you will need to become the entrepreneurial unicorn you envision.