For a small business owner, negotiation will be a part of doing business. Small businesses need certain products or services from suppliers to help them maintain their operations. Since these costs of operation are necessary, the small business owner must attempt to get the best deal they can from the supplier. This generally happens through negotiation. Although the thought of negotiating may seem frightening, the small business owner must overcome any nervousness or fear in order to do what’s best for the business. Here are some suggestions that will help a small business owner prepare and build confidence for negotiating.
Know Thyself and Thy Opposition
Before sitting at the negotiation table, the small business owner must have a realistic objective they seek to accomplish through the meeting. They must assess the need to be addressed and the optimal solution for fulfilling that need. In most negotiations, what the owner wants or needs is not usually gained. For this reason, the best alternative solution must also be determined. This provides the small business owner with the range in which negotiation can take place and the goal to still be accomplished.
After understanding their business, the small business owner should know the opposing party. Researching the opposition will provide useful information for the negotiation. Their strengths and weaknesses will be revealed and will need to be properly assessed. The small business owner may also determine what may be offered in exchange for fulfilling the business’ need. Gaining knowledge about the opposing party provides options and helps the small business owner understand their viewpoint in the negotiation.
Expect to Compromise
Negotiation is all about compromise. No party enters into a negotiation expecting to get exactly what they want. With that in mind, the small business owner should know where sacrifices can be made. It’s good to enter the negotiation with several possibilities in mind. All scenarios should lead to the small business owner accomplishing the goals of the business. Showing a willingness to compromise also help gain the trust of the opposition. It says that the small business owner seeks a deal that is fair to all parties involved.
Watch and Listen
During the negotiation, paying close attention to the reactions and mannerisms of the opposition can be beneficial. Certain suggestions and requests will elicit emotional responses from those involved. The key is to avoid any misinterpretations that may hurt the possibility of coming to an agreement. The small business owner must also be consciousness of showing emotions as well. The opposing party is watching closely and any signs of weakness may be used to gain advantage.
Why Didn’t You Ask for…?
The small business owner has prioritized business needs before the negotiation. Negotiating with the opposing party is to fill those needs. Neglecting to make requests regarding those needs is settling for less than optimal solution, or worse, even the minimal solution. The small business owner should not be afraid to ask for what’s needed. They just might get what they want.
Improving negotiation techniques provides the small business owner with a tool that will help the business to grow. Business needs can be satisfied and costs can be reduced. This saved money can be used to expand or improve other aspects of the business such as advertising. Negotiating skills will improve over time and experience. And with these improvements, business success can be achieved.