The Importance of Negotiation for Small BusinessesLilou Hoffman
The importance of negotiation skills for small businesses simply can’t be ignored. Having these skills allows small business owners to develop long-lasting client relationships with profits and value swinging in both directions.
Your entrepreneurial efforts rely on a variety of assets that you either outsource or need to learn quickly. Marketing, accounting, and IT support are all assets that can be outsourced. However, other skills, like the art of negotiation, are important for the small business entrepreneur to learn and apply themselves.
Let’s take a look at some key negotiations training pointers on how negotiation skills can help small business owners succeed.
Highlighting Value Over Price
As a small business owner, you have likely found a niche or developed a solution via products or services, and are effective at what you do. So, getting what your value is worth emphasizes the importance of negotiation.
From clients to vendors, budget inevitably finds its way into the conversation. Some of your clients may even be boardroom types with savvy bargaining skills, trying to get you to give in for less money.
“Integrative negotiators will employ negotiation tactics aimed at creating value and bridging the gap between the parties,” according to Harvard Law School. Utilizing these skills can highlight your small businesses’ value over price. When your clients and vendors understand the value of doing business with you, budget challenges often dissipate.
Importance in the Hiring Process
Powerful negotiation skills are required in many aspects of the professional realm, including during the hiring process.
The hiring process is a two-way street. You are searching for candidates with the right skills, training, creativity, and professionalism. Candidates are searching for the next great opportunity in their career.
The interview table is where negotiation tactics are employed by both interviewer and interviewee. You are pitching your great company culture, while your potential hire is pitching their knowledge and expertise.
Cultivating a Partnership Mindset
Your ability to grow as a small business relies heavily on your ability to build relationships. These relationships can be with clients or your social media followers. Emphasizing the importance of negotiation and training in an integrative style helps you cultivate a partnership mindset.
“In a negotiation, the seller needs to view a potential customer as a partner rather than an opponent,” says Sherrie Campbell, psychologist and author. “It changes the whole mindset and creates a communication space based more on agreement than desperate acts of getting.”
Taking a partnership mindset approach allows you to build long-term relationships, serving as the foundation for your small business' growth and success.
Patience is an invaluable asset for small businesses. Try to grow too quick, and you could begin to falter. Quit too early, and you run the chance of missing out on true success down the road.
The importance of negotiation lies in patience. Within patience is silence, one of the most essential skills you can possess as a small business owner.
Developing a strategy that encompasses silence allows you to remain calm and relax others at the negotiation table, according to Business Insider.
Silence lets you reflect on what is happening or being said, and gives you time to plan your next move. “Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously,” says Lance Morrow of Time Magazine.
Putting the importance of negotiation into action is certainly a powerful move toward success. It pays for entrepreneurs to train in the right skills to negotiate client interactions, as well as other elements of daily small business operations, to help navigate the multifaceted roles being an entrepreneur requires.