Guest Post: Negotiation tips for entrepreneurs – how to negotiate your way to a yes

This is a guest post that gives great tips for entrepreneurs! After reading this you should feel more comfortable in the art of negotiation.

As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you have to wear many hats. You may be responsible for key decisions in all aspects of the business – product development, marketing, budgets, customer service, and more. With these multiple roles, you can expect to get involved in a variety of negotiations. One day could be salary discussions with an employee, the next day working out a deal with a potential joint venture partner from another country. Here are some negotiation tips for entrepreneurs.

Know what you want and need

Before you enter a negotiation, you need to know clearly what your desired outcome is. Have a target in mind for your perfect deal – price, terms, delivery, etc. Also know in advance what your absolute limits are. What is the maximum price that you would be prepared to pay? What delivery schedule do you absolutely require? This prevents accidentally ending up with a deal that won’t work well for your company.

Research the other party

What is it that they really want? What are their motivations? If you know the true nature of their needs, then you will be in a stronger position to address those, and point out how you can solve their problems. Try to tie into their motivations into presenting your offer.

It’s not a war

Many people see a negotiation as doing battle against an opponent. It doesn’t have to be this way. A better way to negotiate is to look for a solution that makes both parties happy, a win-win outcome. An effective tactic is to lay out some common ground near the beginning of the session, stressing what you have in common, rather than where you are at odds.

You don’t know it all

Even if you think you understand the other party’s position, it’s almost certain that there are things you don’t know that could be useful. Rather than acting like you know it all already during the negotiation, it’s wise to sit back, ask questions, and see what you can learn. There may be important information that they include in a reply, which could change your approach to the negotiation.

Look for other ways to add value

If you can bring other elements into the negotiation, it can take the stress off the price factor. When you can add value to your offering by including things like installation, training, support, or other add-ons, it can make your proposal more valuable to the other party, and they may be willing to accept your price.

People know that money can be tight for a small business, so set this expectation early on in the negotiation. On the other hand, also mention that you are growing fast, and see a lot of potential for the future. Say that money is tight now, but you are looking for a partner who can help you through the years, as your company grows. That gives them an incentive to work with you on the price right now, in the hopes of getting more business later.

Negotiating your way to a “yes” in a foreign country

Business negotiations in your country are slightly different from negotiations happening overseas. It’s important for an entrepreneur to master an international language so that he can clearly state his mind, ask for what he wants and understand opponents. Dealing with international negotiations is common in business, so be prepared. Bargaining for shipping terms and unexpected costs that might arise along the way shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Build a partnership and be as polite as possible. Dealing with international business people can be good for your company. Since you’ll be dealing with investors you know very little information about, you cannot afford to lose their trust. That being said, the golden rule of negotiating with foreign partners is to be prepared. Ask the right questions and be ready to give straight answers.

Are you ready to take your bargaining skills to the next level? Every skilled entrepreneur should master the art of negotiations. Have a strategy in mind, know your limits and if a deal doesn’t bring any benefit to your company, just say “no”. Do it respectfully and you’ll win your opponents’ admiration and respect. They may have better offers for you in the future, so it’s always a good idea to maintain a good relation with your negotiators.

By Steve Brown and!

About the Author

Steve Brown is a regular blogger who writes articles related to small business and negotiation. He is writer at many high ranking sites and loves playing with his dog in his free time.

  • Tom Nadler

    valuable advice for business owners! I really liked when you mentioned about adding value. It’s extremely important, and unfortunately not many entrepreneurs are aware of that.

  • Karina Passos

    I find these tips very useful for everybody that wants to open a business and be successful. I will apply them!