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Some are small, like securing the best price on printing your letterhead and business cards.

“EG Tips” – 5 Negotiation Mistakes Every Event Planner Should Avoid

Others are far bigger deals that can make or break your startup business from the get-go. Sometimes you are the buyer; other times the seller. Either way, the skills you need to be a good negotiator are the same. For some small business owners, it comes naturally. For most of us, however, it comes through effort and experience.

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Rarely is it something you learned as part of a formal education. Here are ten tactics that can make you a better, more confident negotiator on behalf of your small business. When it comes to entrepreneurial talents that spell success in the world of startups, the ability to negotiate well is one of the most vital attributes you can possess. Take care to develop this skill.

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Some people think they are good negotiators, but in reality are not. From bringing in good people, to arranging financing or nailing that first big deal, sound negotiating techniques will be essential. Show Me the Funding! The Sloan Brothers. About Latest Posts. Jeff and Rich Sloan are company creators, lifelong entrepreneurs and brothers who have helped millions of entrepreneurs pursue success. Related Posts Grow Your Business.

Take These Three Steps First. Manage Your Business.

Preparation Before a Meeting

Would Your Startup Survive a Cyberattack? Customer Satisfaction. During the debriefing, we survey the pairs to see how angry they felt and how they fared in resolving the problem. Often, the more anger the parties showed, the more likely it was that the negotiation ended poorly—for example, in litigation or an impasse no deal. Until 20 years ago, few researchers paid much attention to the role of emotions in negotiating—how feelings can influence the way people overcome conflict, reach agreement, and create value when dealing with another party.

Instead, negotiation scholars focused primarily on strategy and tactics—particularly the ways in which parties can identify and consider alternatives, use leverage, and execute the choreography of offers and counteroffers. Scientific understanding of negotiation also tended to home in on the transactional nature of working out a deal: how to get the most money or profit from the process.

Even when experts started looking at psychological influences on negotiations, they focused on diffuse and nonspecific moods—such as whether negotiators felt generally positive or negative, and how that affected their behavior. Bringing anger to a negotiation is like throwing a bomb into the process. Over the past decade, however, researchers have begun examining how specific emotions—anger, sadness, disappointment, anxiety, envy, excitement, and regret—can affect the behavior of negotiators.

In negotiations that are less transactional and involve parties in long-term relationships, understanding the role of emotions is even more important than it is in transactional deal making. This new branch of research is proving extremely useful. We all have the ability to regulate how we experience emotions, and specific strategies can help us improve tremendously in that regard.

Reaching an Agreement That Works for You

We also have some control over the extent to which we express our feelings—and again, there are specific ways to cloak or emphasize an expression of emotion when doing so may be advantageous. For instance, research shows that feeling or looking anxious results in suboptimal negotiation outcomes. So individuals who are prone to anxiety when brokering a deal can take certain steps both to limit their nervousness and to make it less obvious to their negotiation opponent.

The same is true for other emotions. In the pages that follow, I discuss—and share coping strategies for—many of the emotions people typically feel over the course of a negotiation. Anxiety is most likely to crop up before the process begins or during its early stages. Anxiety is a state of distress in reaction to threatening stimuli, particularly novel situations that have the potential for undesirable outcomes. Because patience and persistence are often desirable when negotiating, the urge to exit quickly is counterproductive. But the negative effects of feeling anxious while negotiating may go further.

In my recent research, I wondered if anxious negotiators also develop low aspirations and expectations, which could lead them to make timid first offers—a behavior that directly predicts poor negotiating outcomes. In work with Maurice Schweitzer in , I explored how anxiety influences negotiations. First we surveyed professionals about the emotions they expected to feel before negotiating with a stranger, negotiating to buy a car, and negotiating to increase their salary.

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When dealing with a stranger or asking for a higher salary, anxiety was the dominant emotional expectation; when negotiating for the car, anxiety was second only to excitement. To understand how anxiety can affect negotiators, we then asked a separate group of participants to negotiate a cell phone contract that required agreeing on a purchase price, a warranty period, and the length of the contract. We induced anxiety in half the participants by having them listen to continuous three-minute clips of the menacing theme music from the film Psycho, while the other half listened to pleasant music by Handel.

In this experiment and three others, we found that anxiety had a significant effect on how people negotiated.

People experiencing anxiety made weaker first offers, responded more quickly to each move the counterpart made, and were more likely to exit negotiations early even though their instructions clearly warned that exiting early would reduce the value they received from the negotiation. We did discover one caveat, however: People who gave themselves high ratings in a survey on negotiating aptitude were less affected by anxiety than others. Those experiments examined what happens when people feel anxious. In , with Francesca Gino and Maurice Schweitzer, I conducted eight experiments to explore how anxious people behaved in situations in which they could seek advice from others.

We found that relative to people who did not feel anxious, they were less confident, more likely to consult others when making decisions, and less able to discriminate between good and bad advice. In the most relevant of these experiments, we found that anxious participants did not discount advice from someone with a stated conflict of interest, whereas subjects feeling neutral emotions looked upon that advice skeptically.

Excellent negotiators often make their counterparts feel anxious on purpose. For example, on the TV show Shark Tank, six wealthy investors sharks negotiate with entrepreneurs hoping for funding. The entrepreneurs must pitch their ideas in front of a huge television audience and face questions from the investors that are often aggressive and unnerving.

As this is going on, stress-inducing music fills the TV studio.

This setup does more than create drama and entertainment for viewers; it also intentionally puts pressure on the entrepreneurs. The sharks are professional negotiators who want to knock the entrepreneurs off balance so that it will be easier to take ownership of their good ideas at the lowest price possible.

When multiple sharks want to invest, they often drop comments that are intended to make opposing investors anxious too.

A useful strategy for reducing anxiety is to bring in a third-party negotiator. The takeaway from both research and practice is clear: Try your utmost to avoid feeling anxious while negotiating. How can you manage that? Train, practice, rehearse, and keep sharpening your negotiating skills.


Ten Tips for Negotiating in 12222

Anxiety is often a response to novel stimuli, so the more familiar the stimuli, the more comfortable and the less anxious you will feel. Indeed, although many people enroll in negotiation classes to learn strategies and increase skills, one of the primary benefits is the comfort that comes from repeatedly practicing deal making in simulations and exercises. Another useful strategy for reducing anxiety is to bring in an outside expert to handle the bargaining.

Third-party negotiators will be less anxious because their skills are better honed, the process is routine for them, and they have a lower personal stake in the outcome. Home buyers and sellers use real estate brokers partly for their negotiating experience; athletes, authors, actors, and even some business executives rely on agents to hammer out contracts.

Although there are costs to this approach, they are often more than offset by the more favorable terms that can be achieved. And although anxious negotiators may have the most to gain from involving a third party because anxiety can be a particularly difficult emotion to regulate in an uncomfortable setting , this strategy can also be useful when other negative emotions surface.

Emotion and the Art of Negotiation

In most circumstances, we try to keep our tempers in check. When it comes to negotiating, however, many people believe that anger can be a productive emotion—one that will help them win a larger share of the pie. This view stems from a tendency to view negotiations in competitive terms rather than collaborative ones. More-experienced negotiators, in contrast, look for ways to expand the pie through collaboration, rather than nakedly trying to snatch a bigger slice.

Anger, the thinking goes, makes one seem stronger, more powerful, and better able to succeed in this grab for value. This research shows that anger often harms the process by escalating conflict, biasing perceptions, and making impasses more likely. It also reduces joint gains, decreases cooperation, intensifies competitive behavior, and increases the rate at which offers are rejected.

And angry negotiators may seek to harm or retaliate against their counterparts, even though a more cooperative approach might increase the value that both sides can claim from the negotiation. Negotiating is an interpersonal process.