10 Negotiation Techniques for Entrepreneurs

Two arms shaking hands

Whether they are fresh out of college or ready to be their own boss, many business leaders take the entrepreneurial route so they can enjoy more freedom and make a bigger impact. Starting a business or joining a company as one of its first employees is an exciting time, but it’s also stressful. Building new relationships, acquiring funding and increasing staff are essential steps for a startup business to grow. Startups need strong leaders to help take those first steps.

Strong brokering techniques are crucial for those in leadership. Negotiation techniques come in handy when hiring new employees, finding potential investors and closing deals with clients or suppliers. Before entering a negotiation, it’s important to brush up on brokering skills. Below are 10 techniques that will help you flourish in a management role.

Negotiation Techniques

Be Prepared

Leaders need to do their homework. They need to research the client or potential employee in advance, and leaders need to know what they want out of the deal using data and statistics.

Make the First Move

When brokering a deal, the person on the offensive has the advantage. They have control of the negotiation because they’ve set the floor or ceiling of the deal.

Leave Ego at the Door

The best negotiators convince the other side that the deal was their idea. The relationship between the two sides will more easily flourish when the client feels as though he or she “won” the negotiations.

Listen, Listen, Listen

Listening allows leaders to have a better understanding of goals and desires. Listening helps leaders decide whether this is a deal to commit to or walk away from, as well as how to shape an offer.


Stuart Diamond, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is one of the world’s foremost negotiation experts. Diamond said “negotiation is not a competition, it’s a collaboration.” When leaders believe that the only result should be getting 100 percent of what they want, then they will struggle to close deals. It is better to collaborate with an opposite so that both sides leave the table happy and are open to pursuing future deals.

Be Prepared to Give Up Something

Using a collaborative technique means being prepared to give something up. Whether the leader gives up more company equity or settles for higher salary expectations, collaboration sometimes requires losing conditions in order to make a deal.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

As the old saying goes, you never know until you ask. If a leader makes a credible argument, there’s a chance the client could accept.

Stick to Your Principles

Leaders operate with a set of guiding principles, both personal and those of the company, that shouldn’t be compromised. If negotiations cross a boundary, then perhaps it’s time to walk away.

Use Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage emotions and show empathy towards your opposite. Having high emotional intelligence is a key negotiation technique and could help you bridge a gap between both parties.

Offer and Expect Commitment

One of the most important facets of a deal is following through, both in the letter and the intention of the agreement. Upholding agreements will enhance the leader’s reputation, which could help in future agreements.

Become an Expert Negotiator

As a business leader, it is crucial that you become an expert at negotiation for the success of your company or business. You can learn all the keys to success in negotiations through Alvernia University’s online MBA program. The benefits of our online MBA are invaluable, and you’ll take away an in-depth knowledge of business management, communication, marketing and finance, giving you the tools you need to succeed in negotiations. In addition, our program’s online format allows you to pursue your education while you work from anywhere in the world, allowing you to balance your schooling with your busy life.

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