Entrepreneurs face many challenges when bringing an idea from concept to fruition. One area of expertise that is often needed which can determine their success is the ability to negotiate. To help you understand more about negotiating, we have a guest article today by Davis Miller on behalf of The Gap Partnership.
Five Negotiation tips for women entrepreneurs to perform better at negotiations
Whether we like it or not, the business world is a stern battlefield between men and women. Who holds the power? Who is in charge? Who has more wins? This battle of the sexes will never end. Let us focus more on women negotiators and their role as business entrepreneurs. Being in charge and leading a team made entirely of men ought to be extremely tough for a woman struggling to impose respect at the workplace. Determination and confidence are fundamental features you should have to perform better at negotiations and close deals in your favor.
- Do your best to get what you want
Negotiators often get involved in meetings without having established what they want to achieve. Women entrepreneurs know that having a goal is very important when participating in a negotiation. As long as you’re prepared to face the competition nothing should stop you from closing an excellent deal. Yet, unlike men, women find it hard to get accustomed to unfamiliar situations. Although they’re professionals, they usually deal with a problem that is referred to as aspirational collapse. This means that they prefer to surrender and accept a less favorable solution rather than fight for what they deserve.
- Don’t compromise
Women are more likely to make concessions because they’re afraid to use their power. Most female entrepreneurs are naïve and they don’t realize they’re in charge. You’re the entrepreneur, the business owner, the boss, so act like one! Don’t allow a rude male negotiator tell you otherwise. Just because men know how to raise their voices, it doesn’t mean women can’t do that as well.
- Are you ready to walk away?
Business women should know their value. During a negotiation it’s essential to showcase determination and willpower in front of your competition. There’s no time to be emotional so try to keep things professional. Talk less, use your body language to highlight poise, and if something doesn’t suit you, speak your mind. Running a company and being in charge is not that simple; yet, as an entrepreneur you must find the courage to say ‘no’.
- Make eye contact
Business women should never be afraid to look their team in the eye. As an entrepreneur you’ll have to deal with employees, clients, and investors, on a daily basis so there’s no time to be shy. Eye contact exhibits confidence and self-belief, features every business woman should own. Your counterparts should see you as an equal; avoiding eye contact makes women weak, emotional, and nervous, and those features will motivate counterparts to take advantage.
There’s nothing wrong with using your physical assets to influence business partners. Negotiations are stressful, tiring, and sometimes extremely demanding. As a professional entrepreneur you must find common ground, so smiling can sometimes work miracles on your opponents. Listen carefully to everything your counterpart says and if they’re offering something that’s below your expectations, make a counter-offer with a smile on your face. Always be polite and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if you can’t reach an agreement.
- Do you have enough authority?
Men don’t like powerful women in business, but that’s no secret to anyone. Female entrepreneurs must be strong and decisive otherwise they will outshined by impolite men eager to showcase their masculinity. Never let a subordinate tell you want to do. Let your employees know who’s in charge and if they’re not comfortable with your position, inform them that they can look for another job. Give respect and you’ll be respected, so as long as your people are doing their jobs the atmosphere at the office should be cordial and professional.
Men and women are not treated like equals in the business world and we don’t know if that will ever happen. They say that men have greater leadership skills and that women are weak. Yet, with every day that goes by we see increasingly more women working as business entrepreneurs. There are companies more willing to hire women than men because of their sixth sense in everything. While men are ruthless and brutal in business, women are more analytical and compassionate. Both genders are excellent negotiators, and female entrepreneurs are constantly struggling to showcase that they can be tough as well.