Mar 31st 2020

Meet the negotiators you need in your business

Need to take your car to the local dealership? Maybe you want a bit of extra whipped cream on your hot chocolate? Without even realising it, we negotiate for things on a daily basis. 

Negotiation isn’t just about getting what you want, but a compromise where everyone involved benefits in some way. And there’s an art to it.

Why do you need negotiation skills in business? 

Imagine this. Your company wants to purchase a product and you’re relying on your team to negotiate the best deal. Now we aren’t talking your run of the mill sales deal. We are talking millions of pounds at stake. Right now, that decision to hire Paula as your acquisition specialist, has never seemed more important. 

Hiring someone with good negotiation skills is necessary for your business. In fact, according to our research, a quarter of SME and startup business owners view it as one of the top soft skills to have.

It’s a soft skill that could make or break business interactions. 

To give you a helping hand we want to introduce you to Relationship-building Rachel, Dominating Dave and Thoughtful Tom. Three different negotiating styles to look out for when hiring – each with their own advantages.

Three styles of negotiation

Relationship-building Rachel 
Chris Voss, Lead Hostage Negotiator at the FBI, states that “emotions aren’t the obstacles to a successful negotiation; they are the means”. By listening to other people, with a desire to understand them and build a good relationship, you gain trust. A candidate that is emotionally intelligent, personable and knows what they want – now there’s your golden ticket. They are able to read people and adapt accordingly. This is important not just in business deals, but in working relationships as well. Colleagues don’t always see eye to eye on end goals and you can’t put a price on being able to use creativity to negotiate around these differences. Or well, the price would be that person’s salary.

Dominating Dave
Time is money. Direct, blunt and sometimes even harsh – it’s all about winning. This persona won’t take no for an answer but is not afraid to dish it out. In interviews, candidates who push back with an air of confidence about them and who have strong communication skills should catch your eye. Whilst some people find this type a bit too “much”, they won’t be taken hostage and will bring in the big victories. Let’s flip back to your million-pound acquisition deal above, without confidence and assertiveness, there’s a risk of being given a run for your money.

Thoughtful Tom
Albeit less ”in-your-face”, they will still strive for the win. Their skill lies in their strict attention to detail when negotiating anything. Whether it’s to advance their bonus with Janet from Human Resources or trying to land their next big sell – they are always prepared. Preparation like this produces a calm demeanor that is difficult to rattle leading to solid, hassle-free outcomes. This is easy enough to spot in an interview. Do they take notes when you talk? Do they take their time when answering a question? Are they prepared for any curveballs you throw at them? If so, you’re in luck. 

Stand-alone these three personas are great, put them together and they are unstoppable. Good negotiation in all walks of life involves using different approaches depending on the situation at hand.

According to Kevin O’Leary, author and businessman, “so much of life is a negotiation – so even if you’re not in business, you have opportunities to practice all around you”.

Candidates that follow the side hustle dream, dipping their toes into various adventures, are the honey pots to look out for. The more they have experienced, the more likely they can negotiate their way through anything.

Meet the Masters of More 

Side hustles. The gig economy. Job hopping. Careers are changing, and the way people think about work is too. 

We spend 90,000 hours of life at work. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. You do the math. If you harness your time you can learn, hone and master nine skills throughout your career. Who do you want to be?

Throughout nine weeks we dive into nine soft skills in high demand by employers. We introduce candidates who are nailing this new world of work. Meet the Masters of More.