5 Important Negotiation Strategies to Know as an Entrepreneur

Use these critical negotiation strategies to strike better business deals.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll be negotiating almost everything, from partnerships and acquisitions, to individual sales, to the salaries of your employees. If you want to be successful, you’ll need to get good at negotiating—and fast. Fortunately, there are a few important strategies that can help you do it:

1. Always come in prepared. Never enter a negotiation if you aren’t prepared with ample research to back you up. You should be familiar with fair prices for whatever you’re negotiating, and should have a good idea about how the other party operates.

2. Get a good poker face. Sometimes, your body language and tone will say more than your words. You don’t want to give yourself away, so work on developing a good poker face you can use throughout your interactions.

3. Take your time. You won’t achieve anything by rushing through the process. Take your time, and use silence as a weapon. The more thoughtful and deliberate you are, the better.

4. Keep things as light as possible. At the same time, don’t take the negotiation too seriously. If things get too tense, you’ll face more opposition. Instead, remain friendly, and keep things as light as possible, given the circumstances.

5. Practice. Like with any skill, your negotiating abilities are going to get better with more use. Try to practice negotiations in smaller, lower-intensity circumstances, and work your way up to bigger and more intimidating deals.

These negotiation strategies take time to perfect, but once they’re in your arsenal, you’ll be a deal-negotiating machine. With better negotiation skills, you’ll be able to get better prices on almost everything, and you’ll find yourself in far better positions overall. Don’t take these opportunities lightly.

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