Negotiation is key to success in any entrepreneurial situation. To many, the word “negotiation” is immensely intimidating.
1. When to answer the question
Every negotiation is going to have a guiding question. This seems simple enough to think about, but sometimes a negotiation can be easily confused with a disagreement or a flat-out argument. Understanding when you’re actually negotiating rather than arguing is key. Let’s look at the definition of both words.
Negotiation: a bargaining or mutual discussion of terms
Argument: a verbal fight or presentation of need for support, an altercation
When we separate the definitions out, it becomes blatantly clear that an argument should be avoided. You aren’t looking to the person you are negotiating with for support: you’re looking to get your mission heard. This sounds intense, but patience is key.
Now that you know you’re in a negotiation, you probably know what question has led you to enter this compromise. If you know you are going into such a compromise, such as if you are preparing to go to a car dealership, figure out what questions you want answered upfront. That way, you won’t feel *as* pressured to answer questions that you know are manipulative once you are discussing.
2. When to show your confidence
Confidence is crucial when negotiating. Self-deprecating humor can weaken your argument immensely, and while it might be a comfortable way to resolve tension when you can’t seem to get the other party to budge with your idea, use known and PROVEN facts about what you’re trying to show. Doing this will naturally boost your self-confidence, and make sure that you are making your equivocator feel confident as well. You don’t want to support their side entirely (that would entirely weaken your claim, right?), but be patient and listen until they finish their statement before jumping to a conclusion or assuming what they will say next.
3. When to show your empathy
This leads me into my next thought: show your empathy. Be a good listener. Do your best to connect with the negotiator, even when they are being repetitive or presenting questionable truths. The fine line between negotiating and arguing can also be found in where empathy is shown. If close-mindedness to the other party’s opinions is shown, then very little will really end up being resolved.