How to prepare and conduct negotiations

Negotiations are an important part of the work of entrepreneurs. Everyone, regardless of the size of their business, needs to negotiate with partners and customers. And on favourable terms. Drop shippers, for example, need manufacturers and suppliers who will give them goods at a favourable price. The lower the purchase price, the more the entrepreneur can earn from the mark-up.
Negotiation is the exchange of ideas and the skilful use of arguments, both in business and in life. We negotiate, argue and agree every day. And in order to negotiate in a way that is mutually beneficial and avoids conflict, you need to learn how to have a competent conversation with your counterpart. Today in the Selpway Trading blog we will talk about how to negotiate.

First contact
In the search for mutually beneficial collaboration, an entrepreneur needs to make contact with potential partners. Many people use email to do this. For example, they send letters asking for a price list. However, these letters are not always answered.

It is more reliable and cheaper to communicate by voice. Call and make personal contact. Of course, this is only possible if the supplier is from your country or if you speak the language of the country the potential partner represents. If you do not speak the language, it is still better to write with the help of a translator.
Preparing for negotiations
So you have discussed a possible collaboration on the phone. Now you need a face-to-face meeting to discuss all the details. Here are some tips to help you negotiate and get the best result for you. They are not just for business people and entrepreneurs, but for anyone who wants to achieve their goal in a conversation with another person.

First, be clear about what you want to get out of the negotiation. It could be the conclusion of a deal, a new contract, a cooperation agreement, etc.
Prepare several versions of how the negotiation will unfold, depending on what line the other person will take (remember that they have their own objectives). Rehearse them beforehand so that you don't get into trouble.

Take care of your appearance. The more important the negotiation, the more impeccable you should look. No T-shirts and shorts for men (a business suit or at least a shirt with classic jeans is better). For women, no cleavage with a miniskirt. For the fairer sex, moderate make-up is also necessary. Shiny shoes and well-groomed hands will complete your look.

Take the necessary attributes with you: a diary and pen - for notes, business cards and brochures, a presentation in a notebook - to represent the company, a bottle of water - to wet your throat, contract forms - in case they come in handy! But switch off your mobile phone to avoid distractions.
Behaviour during negotiations
You have met a potential partner at the agreed time. After the greetings, you can ask a few questions on social topics. If the other person is in the mood to get down to business, you can start negotiating immediately.

Principles of negotiating behaviour:
  • Explain your vision of how you want to work together. Speak clearly, do not give double meanings to your words.
  • Be polite. Opponents should not be in conflict, but on the contrary - respect your own interests and those of others. After all, your common task is to find a mutually beneficial solution.
  • Be honest. Tell the truth about your company, describe the pros and cons, share your prospects and plans for the future.
  • During the negotiation process, do not allow yourself to back away from the goal. Small concessions are possible, but no more.
  • Clarify. Sometimes the person you are talking to is vague, silent or jumps from topic to topic. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
  • Take notes. Get into the habit of writing down the most important points during the negotiation. They will come in handy after the meeting when you summarise the results. And at the end of the negotiations, it will not be superfluous to go over the main points and check that you have understood each other correctly.

Of course, negotiation is a complex process with many nuances. In this material we have presented only a brief version of the rules of preparation and principles of negotiation. We hope you will find this information useful.
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