10 Most Common Negotiating Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

10 negotiating mistakes...And How to Avoid Them

As an entrepreneur, negotiating is a part of your everyday business. You have to negotiate contracts with potential clients, a salary for your assistant and possibly for supplies for your business. You may not even realize how much you have to negotiate on a day to day basis but I bet you know when you have not negotiated successfully. There is a feeling that comes in the pit of your stomach when you feel like someone is taking advantage of you.


  • Be Your Best Self – You may see other negotiators who are aggressive, scream and use tricks to get what they want. You should not emulate someone’s style that is not aligned with your own. You have to define your style and use the temperament that you are most comfortable.
  • Everything is Negotiable, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask – Look for opportunities to negotiate instead of accepting whatever terms are given to you. This may be as simple as deciding on a time to meet a prospect. If the potential client tells you they are available at 3:00 but you know that you have a prior commitment at 3:30, don’t risk jamming yourself up, simply request a different time.
  • Negotiate for Yourself As If You Were Negotiating For Someone Else – If you are feeling hesitant to speak up for yourself,  just imagine how you would do if you were negotiating for a colleague or friend. Learn to be as willing to fight for what you want as you would for anyone else.
  • Keep Your Eye On The Ultimate Goal – Yes, you want to keep track of the details because as an entrepreneur you must be detailed oriented but don’t get so caught up in them that you lose sight of what you really want. When negotiating, you certainly should do your research and be prepared but you must always be flexible. You may have to give up things that are not as important to you in order to get what you really want.
  • Be Empathetic But Not A Push-Over – It is certainly advisable that you take time to understand the other side’s position, however, you are invested in making sure your needs are met. Understand your opposition’s needs and work to help them to get what they want; but do not do so to the point that you give up too much of what you want.
  • Say No and Don’t Accept No for An Answer – There will come a time in business when you will have to say no. As an entrepreneur, you are always under pressure to make the best decision for your business. Saying no is easier if you choose your words wisely, you are authentic and remain firm. Your tone is very important to convey credibility. Persistence is a good negotiation tool. Don’t give up because one person tells you no. In fact, make it a practice not to ask someone who does not have authority to say yes. Also, it is true that sometimes someone will tell you no as a way to begin the negotiation process.
  • Allow Yourself to Feel Emotion But Do Not Negotiate in Emotion – Don’t allow your emotions to dictate your negotiations. When you are committed to reaching your goals and need to negotiate to get it, it is understandable to be emotionally invested. However, you can never wear your emotions on your sleeve. If you are feeling overwhelmed, excuse yourself, take a deep breath and return to the table with a rational, clear mind.

Here is a good way to keep your emotions in check. If you are feeling any of the too much of the 10 emotions:, step away from negotiations and regroup:











  • Maximize Your Sense of Humor – Laughter is indeed the best medicine, even during negotiations when tension is thick. Lighten up a bit, release some tension with tasteful humor. Needless to say, avoid controversial jokes or innuendos that may be offensive.
  • See the Humanness of Your Opposition – Although you may not see eye-to-eye it would help you to understand their position if you can identify with them. This helps you not only see their point of view but further to empathize with their intention.
  • Successful Entrepreneurs Sometimes Break the Rules – Resist limiting beliefs or being afraid to step outside the box because people around you tell you how things are “supposed to be.”  You are the captain of your own destiny, you determine your path even if you must chart territories that make others uncomfortable. You don’t always have to do things everyone else have done. You can add a twist or do things differently altogether.

The next time to find the need to negotiate, no matter how small the issue, remember these tips and you will undoubtedly get what you really want. Hey, how about sharing a story about a time when you were not so successful during a negotiation. Don’t be embarrassed, maybe we all can learn something from your experience. 🙂

In awareness, passion, joy, purpose and successful negotiations,

#1 small busienss coach and trainer in charlotte

About The Author


Andrea Callahan is a brand designer. She helps passion & purpose-driven entrepreneurs maximize their strengths to craft and implement an image that represents their WHY and to use that why to position themselves as an Industry Influencer. She a speaker, seminar leader and the author of, "It's Your Brand ~ Make Your Identity Clear" available on Amazon.com Callahan launched the Industry Influencer Academy at academy.andreacallahan.com

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