Negotiating and the art of deal making are essential in the business world, and they’re a necessary skill for any entrepreneur. You’ll spend much of your career negotiating in most professions, and that’s particularly true for entrepreneurs across all industries.
Some people really excel when it comes to the art of negotiation, but what if you’re in a difficult situation?
The difficulty could arise at the macro-level, for example involving the economy. Firmex mentions in their Mid-Market M&A Report that deals have been on the decline in many industries over the past year or so.
There may also be micro situations that impact the difficulty of getting a deal done, such as a challenging person or particular situation.
Even if the situation isn’t ideal, the following are some tips you can follow to get the deal done regardless.
No matter the scale of the negotiation or deal you’re participating in, if you can maintain self-control you’re more likely to come out on top.
One of the reasons people often lose in their negotiations with difficult people is because they can’t control their own emotions and behavior. If you can stay in complete control, even in the face of adversity, you’re going to be in charge of negotiations, and you’ll be giving yourself an advantage.
Limit Presence of Other People
At the micro level, if you’re negotiating in a tough environment or with a difficult person, it’s best to limit the number of individuals who are around.
People that are difficult tend to be less flexible and more willing to jump into a disagreement when there are others around to see them doing that.
If you can keep negotiations small and private, it’s going to be more effective.
If you’re negotiating something like the sale of your business or a merger and the economy is less than ideal, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re anticipating the potential objections and concerns the other person might have.
You don’t want to go into negotiations during a down economy ill-prepared because that’s going to do nothing to alleviate the existing anxiety of a potential buyer. The more prepared you are going into negotiations, the more you’ll be able to assuage any possible anxiety and the closer you’re likely to get to the deal.
Create Open-Ended Dialogue
When you’re negotiating in a tough situation, whether that means the economy is down and you’re trying to convince reluctant buyers, or you’re simply sitting across the table from someone who’s difficult to deal with, a good strategy is to foster open-ended dialogue.
What this means is that instead of negotiating from the perspective of your own interests or taking a hardline stance on anything, move the negotiations forward by asking questions that require critical thinking and problem-solving.
In a difficult situation, this can be more appealing than simply hearing a list of why you want things to be a certain way.
Even the savviest of negotiators can face situations that are tough, whether it’s because of external forces or they’re working with someone who’s less than cooperative, but with some patience and planning, you can make a deal in even less-than-optimal scenarios.