Today's business climate is extremely competitive. And yes, the internet has leveled the playing field. But don't get lazy thinking a level playing field means success is a walk in the park. You still need every edge you can get. And if you're in for the long haul, you'd better be prepared to negotiate at some point.
You can gain an edge not just by learning SOMETHING about negotiating. Your edge will only get sharper if you actually practice what you're about to learn.
Negotiating is practiced by everyone, every day, in all ways. You do it. We all do it. Do it with skill and intent, then watch your bottom line improve.
Whatever your business situation is, you need to be aware of the differences in people's interests. You can also think in terms of ‘agenda'. If you do not pay attention to interests and agendas, including your own, then you're immediately at a severe disadvantage. It's quite simple! Figure out what people really want -- what their true interests are -- then you'll have a starting point.
If the people you're dealing with feel the process is fair, they'll very likely make a real commitment to you. At least they'll stay around and listen to what you have to offer. When they start seeing red flags, they'll immediately back off and look for a way to wiggle out of any agreement they have with you.
Dan Lok operates Website Conversion Expert.
- Don't write checks you can't cash! Or... never make a commitment unless you can fulfill it. Your online business only has one thing going for it at all times: your reputation. Always keep that in mind. People tend to have a sense of fairness and understanding. And many people can forgive honest mistakes. But most new business relations will suffer serious internal damage if you fail to abide by your commitments.
- Don't be afraid to be creative! Brainstorming or mind-mapping techniques, an openness to outlandish proposals, and openness to unexpected possibilities all expand opportunities. You'll open doors to greater gains by expecting the unexpected than when you behave predictably.
- People love creativity! It can make everyone look good in the end.
- Focus on what people say! Pay particular attention to any underlying meanings. Read between the lines. You'll have greater understanding about the other person's real interests and agendas. Active listening can change everything if you just do it.
- Consider the importance of the relationship in any negotiation, whether business or personal. Knowing the priority of the relationship will help you to know when giving up some ground may cause short-term costs but long term gains. In business, always know how much ground you can safely give up to reach your desired objectives. Never give away the farm unless you are positive the long-term benefits are there for you.
- And always be prepared... Always enter into any negotiation with your best back-up plan. Think of worse-case scenarios, the absolute bottom-line you'll accept, and be prepared to think fast just in case you have to.