Business involves complex dealings with employees, suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. According to SuccessHabor, businesses fail for many reasons, including poor cash flow and failed customer management.
Through effective negotiations with the right stakeholders, your business can float above these challenges. That’s why building up the right negotiation skills is one of the best ways to keep your operations flowing smoothly. This article will talk about the most important skills for business people to close more deals and develop fruitful business relationships.
High Emotional Intelligence
Staying in control of your emotional state helps you to keep a level head. A calm emotional state helps your thought pattern stay clear and sharp throughout most discussions. The best negotiation skills training usually includes techniques to help keep outbursts of emotions at bay. For instance:
- Take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed.
- Find alternative ways to channel emotions so you don’t repress negative emotions. Repressed emotions tend to burst out at inappropriate times.
- Ask for a time-out when you need to compose yourself.
- Identify your main triggers and get ahead of them.
Also, in situations where you feel confident, avoid falling into an egotistical trap. When you put your ego front and center in a negotiation, it hurts your chances of finding a win-win outcome. Mutually beneficial results foster long-term relationships. In turn, this can boost the overall health of your business.
Adequate planning goes a long way in successfully concluding negotiations with stakeholders.
Let’s say you’re in talks with new funding partners. This situation calls for polishing your pitches and presentations before delivering. When you present yourself in the best light, you’re more likely to come across as a worthwhile investment that your funders won’t hesitate to hop on board with.
Train yourself to research thoroughly before talks begin. Then, create a plan for the logical flow of events during the discussions. Find out the other side’s wants, strategies, and possible outcomes.
It also helps to determine in advance the lowest point you’re willing to go with your concessions. By keeping your eyes on the whole picture, you can decide when to keep pressing on and when to hit the brakes.
According to Scientific American, every person’s brain is wired differently. That’s why what you say to someone may not be what they hear. Learning practical communication skills can make it easier for you to conclude your business deals faster.
Some techniques for impactful communication include:
Starting with Small Talk
Before jumping into the main discussions, train yourself to effectively use small talk to warm up the other side. In turn, this paves the way for a sound working relationship. Use your research about the other side’s potential interests to help break the ice.
Delivering your Message Well
Focus on your body language and your demeanor when you’re talking. Trained negotiators typically advise maintaining a friendly disposition with a smile so your genuine intentions shine through. Plus, taking note of your facial expressions throughout the negotiation ensures you don’t appear disinterested.
Mirroring the Other Side
Mirroring helps to show the other side that you respect them. For instance, if the other person is serious, also show seriousness and avoid joking around.
Using Active Listening
Active listening skills help you to listen intently and stay engaged. Show the other side that you’re listening by nodding your head when they emphasize a point.
Reading Between the Lines
To see beyond the face value of what the other side says, pay attention to their intonation and nonverbal cues. Once you catch on to the other side’s intent, find a way to probe along those lines to help move the process along.
Understand Different Strategies
Each kind of stakeholder will require you to use a different set of techniques to find an amicable closing. For instance, if you’re negotiating with a customer, present the price right from the get-go. Make sure to steer the conversation to center around the product or service’s value.
For negotiating supply deals, move the conversation away from price. Instead, focus on establishing yourself as a credible buyer who wants to build a rock-solid relationship.
For effective deal-making, learn and practice which strategies work for which situations. Having a repertoire of different approaches, and the agility to flick between them, is one of the most powerful negotiation skills in business.
Train yourself to broaden your skills in a range of negotiating strategies so you can choose the best one for any given situation. Remember to communicate clearly, plan thoroughly, and keep a sound emotional state so you can close more business deals, faster.