Why Business Owners Need Negotiation Skills

When we think about skills that business owners need, usually we think of communication, hard work and determination. However, negotiation skills are usually overlooked and they are key to success when it comes to business. According to statistics, over 40% of Americans say they aren’t confident in their negotiation skills.

Negotiations take place constantly in the world of business and learning this skill can be underestimated. This article will help you understand why business owners need negotiation skills and different ways you can develop them.

What Negotiation Skills Are Needed For Business Owners?

Negotiation skills are used in various ways throughout a business. and practised negotiation skills can help you get the most out of your business. Here are some negotiation skills that are required:

Team WorkWorking as a team and collaborating is a vital negotiation skill for business owners. Allowing your team to give opinions and take action is an effective strategy when it comes to negotiating. Keeping everyone involved shows value to the team and can also benefit the business in the long term.
Active ListeningAnother communion skill that is important, active listening not only shows respect but also allows you to take in the situation and not react by impulse. You can also identify key points by listening to everyone’s comments, coming up with a conclusion to any solutions.
Having PatienceBeing able to respond to a situation, rather than reacting, is a negotiation skill that is very beneficial. Being patient and letting others speak can create a peaceful environment during discussions, but also can allow more points to be absorbed during a conversation.
Interpersonal SkillsInterpersonal skills involve proficiency in managing relationships and the ability to interact well with others. A person with interpersonal skills is effective in leading change, has good communication skills and can resolve conflicts through cooperation and negotiation.
Confidence In YourselfYou have to have confidence in your own abilities and opinions when it comes to negotiating. Otherwise, you may get pushed over and let others dictate your business path. There is a fine line between confidence and being controlling, so finding that balance is important. Be brave and commit to ideas you believe are beneficial.
Showing EmpathyHaving empathy and allowing others to share their feelings is a great negotiation skill.  Understanding the situation and the emotional state of the room can allow you to proceed accordingly to how others feel. People that show empathy are more likely to show initiative and be more self-disciplined. 
Keeping Emotional ControlNot boiling over during a negotiation can be the difference. Showing control and restraint when things get emotional is an important negotiation skill. The best negotiators have fantastic emotional control and don’t let others get to them.

Why Are Negotiation Skills Important For Business Owners?

Building Confidence

As mentioned earlier, confidence is a key part of negotiation skills. The more negotiations you do, the more your confidence will grow going into further discussions. Having confidence will remove the fear that things will go wrong and that you’re in too deep. Without confidence, you are giving opportunities to allow agreements that take place that favour everyone but you. Confidence can take you to lots of places, higher than you could have thought possible.

Create Winning Situations

When it comes to negotiating, you may think that they benefit only one party. However, with successful negotiation skills, you can create win-win situations where everyone benefits. This takes time and practice to master, but having an open mind can remove pushy negotiations that only lean one way. Everyone wants to win, right?

Improves Respect

By having good negotiation skills, you will earn respect from your employees and others around your business. You want to create good impressions and leave an impact within your industry. Negotiation skills can go a long way and with this new respect, you can go into more negotiations with confidence. Respect will give you plenty of advantages and boost your business.

Saving Money

Of course, one of the main reasons that negotiation skills are good for business owners is that you improve the chances of getting a better deal, which ultimately will save you, or make you money. Investing time into improving negotiation skills can reduce costs, which can then be put straight back into your business. It creates a domino effect; improved negotiation skills will impact your profit margins. 

Transferable Skills

Not only can negotiation skills be used in the boardroom. These skills can be transferred to other parts of your business too. Whether that is with potential new employees, supplier demands or even with customers, your negotiation skills are used in all areas of your business. Passing these skills onto employees can create a better working environment too.

Plan Of Action For Developing Negotiation Skills

  1. Go in with a concrete plan.
  2. Understand There May Be Obstacles.
  3. Know your skill set.
  4. Repeat and improve.

How To Develop Negotiation Skills

Practice Practice Practice

Mastering negotiation skills takes time and practice. This means trying new techniques and strategies that may benefit your negotiations. Many top leaders in business are always trying new methods when negotiating, so you could say that the learning never ends. There are always new skills that can be acquired. The best place to start is by trying your negotiating skills out on family and friends. They won’t judge you and it can be a lot less stressful and costly. Then, once you feel confident, try them out in the workplace. Repeat your strategies and you’ll add new methods that are successful until it becomes natural.

Know Mistakes Will Come

Of course, in any business, there will be mistakes. But mistakes are a good thing because you can learn from them, readjust and improve your negotiation skills. Allowing you to reflect and recognise where you went wrong is vital to improving. At first, mistakes may come thick and fast, however, that is part of learning. The greatest negotiators have all made mistakes in the beginning, but the key tip is to not give up and to keep pushing. This is where you will develop the most and adapt your negotiation skills.

Pay Close Attention

Listening to others gives you time to think of a response. You also have less chance of giving way vital information which can be used further down the line in the negotiation. Having restraint and allowing yourself to not react with impulse gives you a better chance to respond. Read the room, others may speak more, giving a better opportunity for you to get more information and details from them, before coming up with a solution.

Don’t Take It To Heart

Negotiations can easily make people emotional. Try not to focus on external factors that are not related to the current negotiation. This can allow things to fall apart and leave you with a worse deal. Successful negotiations take place when you don’t take things personally as sometimes others may be a problem to work with. Look past difficult people and concentrate on the end goal, this is a negotiation skill that takes practice and patience to learn.