Millions of people tune into ABC’s Shark Tank every Friday night to see brave entrepreneurs go face-to-face with the panel of sharks. Some of these entrepreneurs walk away with the deal of a lifetime, while others fight back tears as they leave the tank without a partner. What went wrong? Often, entrepreneurs don’t have strong negotiation skills, and thus fail to secure an investment from one of the sharks. How can you improve your negotiation skills to help you succeed in business? Here are some tips:
Present as much data as possible.
The best way to influence someone to change his or her mind is by presenting a lot of factual proof. If you are trying to convince someone to invest in your company, this will be very difficult without knowing your revenue, profit, cost of new customer acquisition, and margins. The more information you can provide to the other party during a negotiation to support your argument, the more successful you will be.
Look for common ground.
When an entrepreneur from Dallas enters into the tank, he always makes sure to mention his hometown to catch the attention of Mark Cuban, who lives in Dallas and owns the Dallas Mavericks. This is a perfect example of how to find common ground with the party you are negotiating with. Doing so will make you appear more likeable to the other party, so you start negotiations off on the right foot.
Perhaps the most important negotiation skill you should learn is how to listen. If the other party feels you are completely steamrolling over them as they speak, they won’t be interested in doing business with you. In fact, they may not even be interested in carrying on with the conversation if they feel their voice is not being heard. Listen to what the other party is saying and try to respond to their objections, concerns, and questions.
Now that you know how to improve your negotiation skills, learn more about Shark Tank with this helpful infographic: