Running a business requires many skills. One major skill is to be tough. Not everyone is your friend and people will try to take advantage of you. Be prepared to be tough. A friend of mine who recently sold his business had a very interesting experience with a business partner and friend. This other guy was horrible to deal with. He squeezed the last penny out of a deal and put pressure on my friend wherever he could. Imagine someone threatening to take his business to the competition in one minute and then turning around and be your best friend while inviting you for lunch and a hockey game.
Here are some ways to show toughness in the business world:
• Don’t talk too much. Keep it short and simple. Don’t open yourself. The less you talk, the less you reveal about your own position. The less you talk, the more you can listen for weaknesses or opportunities and to take advantage of your opponent.
• Be slow and conservative with your concessions. It can really grind your opponents down. If you must give, give just a little, and ask for something back in return immediately – even if it’s their concession to take an issue off the negotian table.
• Be firm. No means no. Don’t have a problem to give your opponent the feeling he just hit a wall. Explain your position – be firm.
• Keep things moving. Don’t let opponents to go back to issues already worked out and settled. Once an issue is settled, it’s settled. Your opponents must feel that your time is precious and that you do not tolerate wasting your time.
• Stay focused. The last person standing at the bargaining table is the one with the greatest power of concentration. Don’t loose sight of what is in there for you.