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Negotiation skills are essential to success in business. As Scott Crockett, founder of Everest Business Funding, explains, the art of negotiation actually applies to multiple facets of doing business.
It doesn’t just deal with the attempt to close a new deal, increase sales, or work with vendors and suppliers to drive prices down. Aspects of negotiation are present in recruitment, retention, motivation, and so much more in business.
Below are some of the top tips for learning how to master the art of negotiation in business — no matter what the negotiation entails.
Practice Active Listening
Communication doesn’t just involve talking; it involves listening, too. Active listening is the process of not just hearing the words that are coming out of someone else’s mouth — or reading the words they type in an email — it’s taking a keen interest in the other side’s point of view.
Business leaders who display empathy are able to put themselves in the other person’s shoes to identify their motivations. When you do this, you’ll be better equipped to respond in ways that are likely to pique their interest.
Active listening also involves paying attention to context clues and communication’s subtleties. This includes body language and tone of voice, for instance. When you pay attention to these things, you’ll be able to get a complete picture of what someone is trying to communicate.
Time It Right
If you want to negotiate successfully, you need to learn how to time the negotiation properly.
Many sales reps will try to negotiate too early on in the process before they’ve fully sold the potential customer or client on the solution they’re providing. In this example, the negotiation likely won’t prove as fruitful as it could be since the conversation will be shifting too early from benefits to price.
The most successful negotiations are the ones that produce an outcome that’s a win for both parties. By timing the negotiation right, you’ll be giving yourself a better chance of achieving that goal.
Being aggressive may work well in some negotiations but poorly in others. Likewise, sitting back and giving the other side time to think may work well in some negotiation skills but poorly in others.
Good business negotiators are flexible. They’re able to not only employ different strategic approaches to negotiation. They’re also able to identify the right time for each type of negotiation.
When you display flexibility in business negotiations, you’ll be able to come up with creative solutions that could benefit everyone more easily.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
Every good business negotiator will understand that not every deal is worth making. There are situations where it’s just best to walk away.
Scott Crockett says that you should enter a negotiation with optimism that a deal will get done but not overly disappointed if it doesn’t produce results.
Go into the negotiation skills with a “bottom line” in mind, and then walk away if there’s nothing you can do to sway the negotiation above that line. It’s always better to fight another day than to accept something that’s not up to par.
About Scott Crockett
Scott Crockett is the founder and CEO of Everest Business Funding. He is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Mr. Crockett’s track record includes raising more than $250 million in capital and creating thousands of jobs. Scott has founded, built, and managed several finance companies in the consumer and commercial finance sectors.