If you do business in the publishing industry, you have to develop your own negotiating techniques. When you are doing online business with different partners such as editors, authors, designers, retailers, distributors, literary agents, you will shortly reach the status when you have to learn how to negotiate. In the publishing industry I have already had many business meetings and, overall, I found that many of the usual sales or negotiating techniques would not work either because of the nature of the industry or just because it does not fit with my personality. And most of all, if you want to build a long term partnership, you have to be genuine and authentic to your partners, but most importantly to yourself as well.
At PublishDrive we negotiated terms with retailers and publishers and we always wanted to reach a mutually beneficial end result. I summed up my usual business development negotiating techniques what I can advice to anyone in the industry wholeheartedly.
1) Be humble
When you are getting into a partnership you always have to show your excellence. But people like other people who do not brag about their success, but who are willing to embrace them with their humble mentality. Do not push your own success and results into the face of the people, let them discover it through the excellence of your team.
2) Show your intelligence and expertise
Do not push yourself too much, instead of being an inconvenient bragging person, show your intelligence and expertise with market data and research studies. Even if no one asked, try to build your pitch in a way where you can show off your great knowledge of the market, cool trends which are new information for the listener.
3) Listen listen listen
Many sales people overestimate their charm and their communication skills, so they are giving the talk all the time. But first, you have to know whom you are talking to, so you have to ask first a lot of questions to understand how you can convince them in the first place. Do not make your sales pitch as an intro, but try to build a relationship through communication and through giving something away. In a healthy partnership if you give in, you will certainly get to take away as well.
4) Behave like you are dating
Investor relationships or customer acquisition is like dating: you can fall in love or just hate each other in seconds. First impression and the way you behave at the first sight will have a stamp on your relationship on the long term. If you are dating, you do not want to be an open book in the beginning, you want to explore the other person in pieces on your own. You want to get the other excited about what you are doing. So be attractive with showing your results, your vision, keep them updated how things are going, but do not push too much without getting any interest from them. And most importantly, have fun, because dating should be fun for all.
This post originally appeared on the PublishDrive blog.