Negotiation is an important skill for an entrepreneur. Consider the following from the Napoleon Hill Foundation concerning negotiation:
“Experts in negotiation handle the process so smoothly that discussions hardly seem like negotiations at all. While the word negotiation itself conjures up visions of cigar-chomping adversaries pounding the table to emphasize their demands, the best results are achieved when all the parties involved are able to put themselves in the others’ shoes and arrive at an agreement that is beneficial to everyone involved. Whether you are negotiating a higher salary, a new job, or the acquisition of a company, your chances of success are far greater when you approach the situation positively and with a clear objective in mind. It also helps to understand the motives of others involved and to have in-depth knowledge of the subject under discussion. Finally, approach every topic with an open mind — don’t simply try to bully others into accepting your proposal or point of view.”
In my experience the best deals and working relationships are those that are balanced, equally considering the desired value of each party. When each party negotiates in such a manner to create an equal exchange of value, you not only set the stage for an initial successful transaction, but mutually beneficial enduring business relationship.
Be wary of the individual who brags about, or has a goal of reducing the other party to a state of weakness. Although the other party may agree to onerous terms up front, it is likely they will not see the deal through to completion. Even if they do perform for a time, they are incentivized to move on quickly at the first sign of a better, or different opportunity with less onerous terms.
This is not to say that you should concede or lessen your value in the negotiations. Quite the opposite. Consider maximizing the terms that you value but in turn have empathy for the position of the other party. What do they value or care about? What are they seeking to accomplish with a given negotiation? Likely there is some common ground where you can each maximize your positions without sacrificing the value of the other.
1. J.R. Sedivy. Value: http://jrsedivy.com/value/
2. The Napoleon Hill Foundation. Thought For The Day. The most important job is that of learning how to negotiate with others without friction: http://www.naphill.org/posts/tftd/tftd-tftd/thought-for-the-day-sunday-april-27-2014-2/