You need to negotiate for your business. And, in any negotiation, you want the upper hand.
Luckily, claiming the upper hand for your negotiations isn’t as hard as you think. You might be surprised to discover some simple tricks that can help you. Here are some ways to negotiate for your business more effectively:
1. Establish Trust
Acknowledge what’s wrong. If there’s a glaring problem with your product or your business, be up front. If you try to hide something, you’ll be seen as untrustworthy. You can gain the upper hand if the other party knows they can trust you.
Build a reputation as a straight-shooter. When people know they can trust you, you are in a better place. Others are more willing to negotiate when they know you act in good faith. Tell it like it is. When you start talking about the benefits and strengths of your product or business, it’s easier to believe you.
A little honesty can go a long way when you negotiate for your business. Plus, it will help you in negotiations down the road — not just this one.
2. Show Affinity to Your Negotiation Partner
We’re more likely to trust those who are like us. Additionally, we are more likely to listen to someone else when we feel they understand us. This can give you an edge when you negotiate for your business. Look for an affinity to the person on the other side of the negotiation.
This affinity can be as simple as trying to order the same thing (or something similar) if you go out to dinner. It might be the fact that you went to the same school, or enjoy the same music. Shared experiences and knowledge build bonds. When you can build a bond with someone, you are more like to be effective in your negotiations.
When using this tactic, though, it’s important to be genuine. Don’t make something up just to make negotiations go smoother. If you lie about something, you’ll be caught out. That sets you back in terms of establishing trust and can make things worse.
3. Set the Conditions When Possible
If possible, set the conditions of the negotiation. You have more power this way. Rather than asking the other party if something will work for them, provide options. You might be inclined to say, “Does Thursday or Friday work for you?” You can gain the upper hand, though, by phrasing it this way: “I am available Thursday between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. or Friday at 11 a.m. Let me know what works best.”
It’s also possible to apply this to place. Choose a place that you feel comfortable with. You want the negotiations to be on your turf when possible. Once the other party identifies a time, you can say, “Great. Let’s meet this great restaurant near my office.”
You’ve set conditions for the negotiations, and the other person is already acknowledging that you are in charge. It can be surprising to realize how much this subtle shift of power can work in your favor when you negotiate for your business.
Another thing to consider? Setting your times for earlier in the day. You’re more alert and you won’t be distracted by the other things that come up during the day. It’s easier to focus on the matter at hand.
You don’t have to be sneaky to get the best outcome for your business. Often, all you need is a bit of knowledge of human nature and a willingness to be assertive.