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September 13, 2013

Reasons why every entrepreneur should be able to negotiate

Entrepreneurs walking

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.

Entrepreneurs must own great negotiating skills to stay in business. These skills can help them close excellent deals and gain a reputation. While not all entrepreneurs are born with effective negotiating abilities, they can all perfect them if they’re dedicated. Preparation is extremely important before a customer negotiation, because you have to deal with various inquiries and questions. Prepare documents, presentations and yourself. Yes, that’s right! A business outfit speaks a lot of things about the business person, so make sure not to ignore this aspect.


Why should entrepreneurs know the ins and outs of a negotiation?

From the very beginning of their business, entrepreneurs are required to deal with numerous contracts and wide array of stakeholders – vendors, consultants, partners, employees, distributors, agents, and clients. Contracts are generally drafted and finalized in a hurry by entrepreneurs themselves, and that’s why every now and then it pays off to understand negotiating contracts.

Key points every entrepreneur should have in mind during a negotiation

How can you close a deal if you can’t state your mind? Entrepreneurs forget that their position can greatly influence a business deal. Bargaining with employees and vendors is not the same thing as bargaining with investors though. In order to achieve your goals and turn the whole meeting in your favor, it’s important to have some skills.

  1. Evaluate goals from different points of view
  2. When you face a situation that entails negotiation, start with identifying the needs of your counterpart. This way, you’ll be able to come up with a solution that is mutually favorable. Car dealerships are a good example to understand why evaluating goals is essential. Apart from trying to convince customers to purchase a vehicle, a salesman must also convince the client that purchasing from his company only is the best solution. As soon as a salesman notices that you’ve decided to purchase from him, the goal will to obtain the highest possible commission. It’s important to find a sales person willing to tailor his objectives to your needs. This is the most efficient way to satisfy both parties.


  3. Keep your emotions under control when you’re stressed
  4. Entrepreneurs are well aware that negotiating with customers can be maddening. Sometimes controlling your emotions will seem impossible, especially if we’re talking about dealing with important clients. In order to succeed in this business, you can’t let emotions get in the way. Your partners can’t know you’re anxious because anxiety is a weakness that can be easily exploited in a negotiation.

  5. Proper organizational skills can help you efficiently manage negotiations
  6. Entrepreneurs are compelled to be thorough planners. Every document must be attentively organized, and every affirmation you make should be backed up by solid evidence. It’s impossible to close good deals if you’re not meticulous. A word of advice: it’s humane to make mistakes, but do your best to learn something from them; try not to make the same mistake twice if you want to be an excellent entrepreneur.


  7. Knowledge is bliss in negotiations
  8. Prior to meeting with customers, make sure that you possess ample knowledge of the services and products you’re about to sell. You have to be familiar with every single detail of your product in order to present it with confidence and be able to clarity uncertainties that might arise.

  9. Make sensible compromises
  10. You shouldn’t give away anything without receiving something in return. A business discussion has to be proactive and both parties have to state their opinions about the things that are being negotiated. Making concessions is important in negotiations, but only if they’re made by both parties. Don’t forget that your position as an entrepreneur can have great advantages, and if you’re a valuable asset to your opponent, compromising can turn into a win-win solution.
    Whether we’re talking about skilled entrepreneurs or beginners, negotiation abilities are compulsory in any business domain. It’s impossible to close contracts, keep employees under control, and build solid partnerships if you’re not an avid mediator. The ultimate goal of business owners is to boost sales, which can be achieved only through efficient negotiations. Communicate with your people, be honest, emphatic, and ultimately, be principled. These are some of the most important attributes every entrepreneur should have.