A case can be made that being able to negotiate is an important life skill that everyone needs to have. The reason is because negotiating involves being able to communicate effectively and come to an agreement with a favorable outcome. While this capability can be important in everyday life, it’s a crucial competency in business. Quite frankly, negotiating in business is so powerful that it can make the difference between success and failure.
The difference between someone who is a good negotiator and someone who is not very good often boils down to a mental barrier that prevents a person from engaging effectively in a discussion. The very thought of negotiating can cause some people to feel intimidated and anxious, which is the wrong mindset to have when you’re endeavoring to negotiate in business. Instead, you must look at negotiating as a conversation between two people where your goal is to find a win-win solution.
Even if you negotiate a deal in your favor, it doesn’t mean that someone else loses, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you took advantage of the person on the other side of the deal. If you start the negotiation process with the mindset that everyone wins, it can eliminate any trepidation that you might have. It’s the kind of thinking that should exist in every area of life, but it’s a mandatory state of mind in business if you want to succeed.
There are often missed opportunities when it comes to negotiating in business. For instance, everyone who has a job has a chance to negotiate their salary at some point. While you might think the starting pay is set in stone, that’s not always the case. If a company is truly interested in you, there’s a good chance of securing a higher salary, but it can only happen if you initiate the negotiation process.
Once you are in a position and become a high performer who adds value to the company, speaking up about a merit-based pay increase is a great way to boost your salary. If you have contributed to positive financial outcomes for the business, there’s a good chance that your supervisor or the owner of the company will be amenable to a pay increase. If not, you can negotiate terms for a future pay increase based on your performance or find a higher paying job.
If you are a business owner or an employee who works in procurement, there are many opportunities to negotiate on a regular basis. Whether you are negotiating a building lease or the per unit price for supplies, you must realize that the listed price is often only the starting point. This is crucial when it comes to supplies purchased every month. Depending on the size of the business, it’s possible to save thousands of dollars every month by negotiating a lower per unit price on bulk items.