Negotiation has always been an important part of business, and it will still be crucial in your future deals. It’s even more crucial when you are a startup and need to negotiate your way to the top. You should be looking forward to arguing with much bigger, more powerful corporate bodies, you therefore need all the negotiation skills to make a successful argument for your new business.

But you need to get it right and that is the biggest challenge for most business professionals. Pre-negotiation preparation is a great asset you should strive for. When the mind is ready and prepared to negotiate, you will be surprised at how it can impact the negotiation process.

Carol Frohlinger once said “Don’t bargain yourself down before you get to the table.” You need to prepare the mind with a winning attitude before you get to the negotiation table. Negotiation is about knowing exactly what you expect and want before and after the negotiation, going after it, and respecting the other person in the process. And you can always come out a better person. It’s a win win situation.

It’s also important to know the type of people, professionals or business partners you are dealing with and talk to them in a language they understand. It’s your job to find out how to push the right buttons to get what you expect. Strive to be in control in the process of the negotiation. Get the other party to respond and be in an answering position. The more you say, the more you give away. Exercise control, it’s ok to be quiet sometimes. Ask lots of open-ended questions to get your party to talk more. Let them talk, listen and take notes. You will need information to win your argument and make a concrete statement.

With the right information and a thorough research about the other party, be prepared to make the first offer. You can’t make the right decisions without understanding the situation on the ground and what you are dealing with. You want to be in control right from the beginning, especially when it comes to buying. The seller will always quote a higher price to set an anchor. Well, sellers wants a good price and buyers want to pay what they can afford. If done right, you may meet at the middle,it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

You may not always have the opportunity to make the first offer, but your counteroffer can still be based on the same information you would use to construct a first offer. An aggressive counteroffer with a joke to lighten the mood whilst discounting the first offer should not be ruled out.

At the end of the negotiation process, you wan to leave the negotiation table with a healthy business relationship with your partner rather than burning bridges on your way out of the meeting room. Whatever happens after the negotiation, be sure to leave as a better person. Creating a long-term business relationship with the other party should always be your ultimate goal.

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