15 Techniques for Winning Negotiations

As a small business startup or current owner, learning negotiating skills is very important. Believe it or not, there are literally thousands of negotiations that can affect your business and your bottom line. These can be items as simple as getting a discount for your business cards or as complicated as a facility lease. It might be negotiating pay plans with employees or payment terms with a supplier.

The bottom line is most schools do not teach the art of negotiating. And believe me, it is an art, a talent, a skill! For some small business owners it comes naturally. For most of us, learning the art of negotiations comes through necessity, effort, and experience.

Here are 15 techniques that you might consider as you become a master of negotiating:

  1. Always leave some money on the table.
  2. Never compromise on your principles.
  3. Try to judge what’s fair from the other side’s point of view.
  4. Write down your goals and scenarios before every negotiation.
  5. Ask questions.
  6. Information is power.
  7. Discuss only broad terms and conditions on the onset.
  8. Whenever possible, let the other person make the first offer.
  9. If you must make the first offer, make it high.
  10. Always encourage the other party that we are making a deal.
  11. Always come down very slowly if you are selling, and up very slowly if you are buying.
  12. Never give up a concession without getting one in return.
  13. Never lose track of how many concessions you have given up.
  14. Be skeptical about deadlines. Most are negotiable.
  15. Never let an issue be discussed unless you are prepared. Sleep on it.

The next time you are in a position of give and take, you are in negotiation. As a small business owner, this can happen more frequently than not. Most of the time there will be no clear winner but rather some manner of satisfaction on both sides. When this results, your negotiations have probably been successful. The important thing is to understand that the skill of negotiating is a learning process. The four Ps of negotiating: plan, patience, persistence, and practice are crucial to developing strong alliances and relationships that can continue in the future.

Think about these 15 principles and watch as you get the discount, free rent, the next sale, or extended payment terms. Then get ready to move on to the next negotiation, because there is always another one right around the corner.

Great Ways to Impress Your Audience in a Business Presentation

Managing a business today is a challenging task. The competition is stiff and the challenges are always present. Marketing your business in different ways will keep it alive and ahead of its competitors. Conducting presentations is important to gain more clients and potential business partners. Doing so will give you better opportunities to improve your company. You just have to be an effective speaker to impress your audience and get the deal you want. Here are the best ways to do this.

Be Specific: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

This is a general rule for speakers, especially when it comes to business presentations. You need to be specific about what you are discussing. Provide facts instead of just presenting speculations. You can use examples to make your presentation more understandable. Go straight to the point. Remember that your audience consists of entrepreneurs and customers who want to know how your products or services will benefit them. Provide them the right information they need and convince them that they need your company.

Be Clear and Energetic

State your ideas clearly and precisely. You should observe consistency in everything you say. This will make your audience believe in what you are presenting. Always be energetic and avoid dull moments. Do not let shyness ruin your presentation. Interact with your audience by entertaining their questions with a positive approach. This will keep your presentation from being boring.

Use Effective Presentation Media

The media you use play a great role in making your presentation awesome and effective. PowerPoint, for example, is a traditional yet effective presentation tool. Avoid using too many effects, as this may defeat your purpose of catching your audiences attention. Excessive presentation effects will make your slides hard to understand. A high-quality video template is also an effective tool to draw attention. A reliable advertising company can provide a good video for your next business meeting.

Groom Yourself

Proper grooming is also important. You should be as presentable as possible because your audience consists of professionals. A business suit will do for all types of presentation. Do not forget to wear enough perfume and makeup. It is ideal to look at yourself in the mirror before the start of your meeting to makes sure you are well groomed.

Be Confident

Confidence is your best weapon. You need to be confident if you want to impress your audience. Study and master your presentation, and practice clear delivery. The way you stand and speak affects the reliability of the information you provide. Be authoritative and confident about what you are saying. This will help you convince your audience that they need your products or services.

Nail Your Presentation

Nail your presentation by starting with a warm welcome and ending with an effective call to action. Your audience knows what to do. They will automatically approach you or contact your office if they like your presentation. Give them time to decide, but never forget to provide them your contact details.

The Easy Presentation That Isn’t

Do you frequently or periodically make essentially the “same” presentation or speech? Perhaps, as Human Resources Director in a large organization, you regularly welcome new employees. Maybe you, as a department head in your marketing firm, initiate the weekly meeting of your group. You may, as City Engineer, routinely brief the City Council at its monthly meeting. As Engineering Dean, I frequently welcomed groups of high school students and their parents who were visiting our and other colleges of engineering to help them decide what university they may want to attend.

The good news about these apparently routine presentations is that they are easy, that is, relative to some of the critical one-of-a-kind speeches we also prepare for and present and sometimes dread. The bad news about the apparently routine presentations is also that they are easy. And, therefore, we may not give them proper attention, we get careless, we lose our edge, the audience knows it, and we fall short of the intent of oour communication.

More specifically, when we give the same presentation over and over, we may inadvertently fall into these traps:

1) Verbal graffiti: “Ah,” “you know,” “um,” and “he/she goes,” are examples. This happens because we are not thinking, not focusing-we are on autopilot. Think you don’t do this? Maybe you don’t, but why not verify? The next time you make that routine presentation, unobtrusively place an audio recorder on the lectern or table and, at your leisure, listen to yourself.

2) Negative body language or distracting behavior: Examples are holding our arms across our chest as we speak, which many interpret as your being autocratic and not open to input; failing to make eye contact with all portions of the audience; and excessive fiddling with our eye glasses.

3) No enthusiasm: You used the same words and sentences so many times that you just can’t get up for it. For example, I once worked in an organization where the chief executive, whenever he spoke and whoever he spoke to, always began with an expression like “I am pleased to be here”-got a little old.

For some of us who give that frequent speech to what is always a new audience, please consider the applicability of this advice: We get only one chance to make a first impression. Let’s leverage those “one chance” speaking opportunities.

Some thoughts for improving your “stump speech”:

1) Listen to a recording of your current presentation, as suggested above, or ask a colleague or friend to critique your speech. Identify strengths and weaknesses. Build on the former and fix the latter.

2) Commit to minimizing verbal graffiti. You don’t have to give a presentation to do this. Work at eliminating meaningless word and sounds in you every day conversations.

3) Find or develop a new opening each time, such as a story, metaphor, quote, or example. Yes, this requires extra effort. One benefit of that effort: thinking deeper about your audience and what you want them to learn and/or do. Using a new opening also adds freshness to your comments.

As stated by writer and author, Patricia T. O’Connor, “An audience is a terrible thing to lose.” That is exactly what happens when your audience senses that you are simply going through the motions. Instead, make them feel special. While you have presented the message many times, for them it should be as though it is the first time.