The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 31, 2013

Ask the Mompreneur: 4 tips for better negotiation skills

This week’s “Ask the Mompreneur“ features an interview with Taffy Williams, CEO of Concord, N.C.-based Colonial Technology Development Co. Williams is a serial entrepreneur and biotech startup expert who has raised more than $100 million of investment capital.

QUESTION: How can we improve our negotiation skills in the new year?

ANSWER: A negotiation is a process that allows parties to engage in a relationship to obtain something they need or want in exchange for something they are willing to give in return. This occurs in everyday life, not just high-stakes business deals, so we really all have experience in negotiating.

Tip No. 1: Negotiating starts at your first interaction. We learn negotiating skills very early in life, such as promising to be good to get a new toy, and try to improve them as we age. But not everyone realizes that negotiations start with first contact. The parties start to develop an understanding of each other’s personalities, likes and dislikes. They may learn something about how much one side is willing to give and how important the item or service is to that individual.

Negotiating requires development of a relationship with the other party. The better you understand the other side and their needs, the better you can relate to them. Secondly, negotiations require a bit of salesmanship. The ability to communicate the positive attributes make the item or service appear more attractive and thus worth more.

You are negotiating even before your start formal discussions. What you say and do provides the other side with information about you and your product or service. By the time you’re actively trying to convince someone about the value of your offer, they may have already formed an opinion on the matter.

Tip No. 2: Learn as much as possible. Learning as much as possible about the topic helps you obtain more of what you want. For example, suppose you are selling something at a garage sale. The item may have some historical value and possibly is an antique. Someone expressing interest may view it as just something old and would attach a much lower value. Your knowledge shared with the person can help demonstrate why they are offering too little for the item.

Text Only
  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

  • Ask the Mompreneur: It’s best to farm out your payroll

    When my husband and I hired our first employee at our Web development company, we had it easy when it came to doing payroll.

    July 17, 2014

  • Protecting against unnecessary losses

    QUESTION: I run a small bar and grill which is open 7 days a week and have to rely on others for some of the shifts. How can I ensure employees have not become my partners?

    July 17, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.
    Workplace distractions are everywhere, especially in an age of social media and open-plan offices. In the face of so much temptation, accomplishing what you’re paid to do can be tough.

    July 16, 2014

  • It could be time for a career coach

    Need a little help figuring out your next career move?
    If you’re putting in the hours and still not seeing the rewards, feeling undervalued or simply striving to be more successful, it may be time to hire a career coach.

    July 16, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Turn to boss for help with disgruntled underling

    QUESTION: When I joined this company a few weeks ago, I discovered that the person who previously held my position is now working for me. “Sarah” obviously resents my presence and frequently says I don’t have the authority to manage her, even though I clearly do. Her negativity has made my job much more difficult.

    July 15, 2014

  • You are not trusted

    If it seems like employers don’t trust employees - well, they don’t.

    July 15, 2014

Business Video