Small Business Owners: How to Properly Negotiate

Small Business Owners: How to Properly Negotiate

Do you struggle to negotiate with clients, partners, and providers as a small business owner? Most people hate to negotiate. However, learning how to negotiate properly could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars every year.

Here are some tips on how to negotiate. Use these tips to create great deals and partnerships. That can help your small business to thrive.

Ask for What You Want

Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want in a negotiation. You may not get it all, but it never hurts to try. You also have better chances to negotiate if you ask for everything but are willing to give up some things.

Make the First Bid

This is especially true if you’re selling something. Studies show that when the seller offers the first bid, they’re more likely to get a higher price. When possible, start any negotiation on your side and set the tone for the rest of the negotiations.

Listen to the Other Person

Spend 70% of a negotiation listening to what the other party needs. It will help you create offers they’ll find appealing. Don’t dominate negotiations with too much talk of your own needs and instead focus on your opponent’s needs.

In any business deal, you should try to spend 70% of your time listening and the other 30% speaking. People love to be heard, and they’ll be more open to negotiating if they feel like you heard their need.

Be Willing to Walk Away

Being (or appearing/) desperate gives the other party too much leverage. Don’t let the other party believe they are your only hope.

Be (or at least act like you are/) willing to walk away from a deal. That will inspire your negotiation partner to understand how much they must concede to keep your business.

Better yet, do your research beforehand and know exactly where you can go for plan B and more leverage.

Don’t Look at a Negotiation Like It’s a Competition

Negotiating isn’t a competition with a winner and a loser. In the best-case scenario, each party feels like they got something they were looking for. Try to see things from the other person’s perspective and see how you can help them.

Ideally, negotiation should benefit both parties, at least a little. You want the best deal possible for yourself. However, you shouldn’t approach the situation like it’s a game to be won or lost.

Research the Other Side

What does the other side really need from the negotiation? If you have this information ahead of time, you can use it in your negotiation.

The other party may ask for a lot of things during the negotiations. However, they may be willing to give up more if you offer the most important things. The more you know about their needs, the better you’ll be able to negotiate a deal that works for both parties.

Set High Expectations

You can’t go into a negotiation expecting to get screwed. Have high expectations when you walk into any negotiation. You have no shot of getting exactly what you want if you don’t ask for it.

If you can back it up, ask for everything you feel you’re entitled to. You may not get it all, but you certainly won’t if you don’t ask.

Don’t Rush

Often, the party that gets the better deal in a negotiation is the one with the most patience. If the other person senses your urgency, they may throw out lower offers in the hope that you’ll just take the lower offer to end the negotiation.

Meet Their Basic Interests

The other party won’t walk away with nothing. Find out the main thing they need, preferably before the negotiations start. Make an offer that meets their most basic interests.

Take time to research, so you have a better idea of which touchpoints are necessary and which are more negotiable.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Business deals are not personal. As much as you want your small business to thrive, so does the other person. Nothing said or done inside a business meeting is (or should be/) a personal attack.

Getting emotional and feeling attacked will do nothing positive for the negotiation process.

Start a Valuable Relationship

When possible, don’t look at negotiation as a one-time thing. Do your best to stay in touch, even if you think you won’t need to work with them much. Try to refer business to each other and maintain a long-term professional relationship.

You never know when someone might have what you need down the road. Don’t burn bridges or create enemies with overly aggressive negotiation skills.

Don’t Give Anything up Without Receiving Something in Exchange

Don’t give up too much without getting something in return when you’re negotiating. You may need to concede some larger items to retain smaller items. Or, you may charge lower prices by doing less work.

First Union Lending is Your Business Partner

First Union Lending is more than a bank. We want to be your small business partner and assist you however possible. We want to be the lending partner you can always turn to in a time of need.

Our lending specialists love working with small business owners to find the right loan – we have 9 to choose from! Applying for a loan doesn’t affect your credit, and you could get cash as soon as the same day you apply.

Call 863-825-5626 or click here to talk to one of our talented lending specialists. We’ll be happy to discuss your small business needs.

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