by Aleshia van der Ploeg LLB. (RAU), Founder & Director of VDP Legal Consulting
As an entrepreneur, sometimes we are so desperate for business or too eager to simply sign a deal, not only do we lose sight of what we wanted to achieve, but we sell ourselves short.
In order to help you achieve the best possible results in business (and in life) you have to learn to negotiate. Negotiation is an art and below are a few tips to help you succeed:
1. BE PREPARED
Good opportunities are missed when you are unprepared. Knowledge is power – do your homework and gather as much information as you can. Find out who you are dealing with. Brush up on your communication skills. Pay attention to detail. Develop a clear strategy and tactics to help you succeed.
2. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
It’s hard to get what you want if you don’t know what it is. The best negotiators know what they want at every step. Negotiations are often a compromise, so aim high. State what you want using effective communication skills. Know what your bottom-line is so that you are not taken advantage of.
3. FOCUS ON THE WIN-WIN
Win-wins are the only way to go. Although this may not always be possible, through negotiation, it should be the ultimate goal. Do not think only of yourself. Try understanding what all parties need, and be prepared to compromise. Craft your negotiation based on what the other person wants, not on what you want. Focus on where you agree. Don’t force your opinion on others. Changing somebody’s mind is difficult, exhausting and rarely works.
4. BE RESPECTFUL AND UNDERSTANDING
Watch your attitude. Be honest. Be courteous. Try not be defensive, instead, ask for clarification. Listen carefully. Don’t interrupt. Don’t try ‘win the argument’. Be flexible. Don’t be rude or pushy. Don’t negotiate if you are feeling emotional.
For further information or assistance email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aleshia van Der Ploeg LLB (RAU) was admitted as an Attorney of the High Court in South Africa in 2006. She is a member of the Law Society of the Northern provinces. She has 10 years post-qualification experience in corporate, commercial, labour and general law. She practised as an attorney and served as a Director before forming her own consulting firm. www.vdplegal.co.za | Email email@example.com
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