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Business Negotiations: Volleying Like an Expert

July 6, 2016

Small business and entrepreneurial advice and wisdom


A parent, partner and entrepreneur all have one thing in common; they require great negotiating skills. Sometimes it takes hours of conversation to get children to pick up their clothes, thirty minutes to consult with a partner on the right movie to watch and multiple days to secure the right contract with a vendor or new customer. The truth is in life we are involved with endless negotiations. A productive day is a day when everyone agrees to the same outcome.

With my first company, I was involved with many negotiations involving special event planning clients, event management details, vendor contracts and proposals. Weeks would be filled with discussions, conversations and coming to agreeable solutions between customers and vendors. I had forgotten what tough negotiating entailed until a few days ago when I was faced with a situation that required a back and forth contract volley like you’d see in Wimbledon between two great players trying to win the match. What I learned from this “match of wills” was negotiations skills are as essential to an entrepreneur as having the right ball placement on a serve is to a tennis player.

There are a couple key points to remember when creating agreements with other people or companies. The first is to understand what you really want out of the agreement and being crystal clear about it. Sometimes agreements are declined because you aren’t obvious enough. Second, think of the negotiation through the other person’s perspective to reach creative solutions. Third, contemplate how you, your company or your customers will benefit from being a good negotiator. There is a trickle down affect in creating healthy partnerships.

Today identify if you are a good negotiator or not or if you need more education or practice in this area. By becoming a more confident negotiator you engage in more productive discussions, create better opportunities for both parties involved, and empower yourself with the benefits of fair contracts.

tennisracketsYou owe it to yourself to approach negotiations like tennis players approach a volley in a match – with confidence, skill and will power to place the ball perfectly in the court.

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