Negotiations can be one of the most challenging parts of owning your own business, no matter what the nature of the discussion, so we’ve put together a few pieces of advice to help you stand your ground.
Remember that knowledge is your power
In order to feel confident in your proposal and put weight behind what you’re saying, you need to back it up with knowledge.
Make sure you put enough preliminary preparation in before your meeting to ensure you aren’t caught off guard with any tricky questions.
Stay calm and level-headed
Negotiations can naturally get quite heated as two (or more) parties try to settle on an agreement that works for everybody.
In order for the person(s) you’re negotiating with to respect your view point and consider your requests seriously, you need to remain calm and collected.
Although you may feel frustrated at the direction of the conversation, try not to let these feelings show or cause you to react in a negative way.
Listen carefully and acknowledge the other person
As part of remaining dignified and level-headed during a business negotiation, you will need to be able to recognise when it’s time to be quiet and let another party speak.
Don’t just pretend to listen either – be genuinely engaged in what they’re saying and take their suggestions onboard.
You never know, they may even say something that enables you to come to an even better agreement than the one you had planned.
Dress for the occasion
When you look your best, you feel your best and a business negotiation is most definitely one of those times when you’re going to want your confidence levels to be as high as possible.
If you aren’t comfortable with your physical appearance, this will likely have a detrimental effect on how you project yourself. So, whether it’s a shirt and tie or a extra layer of lipstick, do whatever you need to do in order to feel your best and conduct the conversation with confidence.
Know your limits and don’t be afraid to say no
The main piece of advice when entering into a negotiation is to not be afraid to say no.
This doesn’t have to be confrontational or show an unwillingness to compromise – simply explain that what is being suggested or offered to you is just not going to work for you. Offer a reasonable alternative and see how the conversion develops from there.
Leave a little bit of wiggle room
Although you should go in with strict ideas about your limits and communicate this clearly to the person you’re negotiating with, we do also recommend leaving a bit of room for manoeuvre too.
Standing your ground doesn’t always have to mean an outright no – it can also mean a slight compromise and allowing yourself that bit of wiggle space in the back of your mind to make this process more streamline and professional.
If you have any of your own advice on how to stand your ground during business negotiations, leave them in the comments below or share them with us on Twitter or Facebook.