Carol’s recent post on entrepreneur.com is a fun one. In “4 Tricks for Negotiating Like a Poker Pro,” she walks you through different scenarios that happen at any poker table, and how these relate to negotiating as a small business owner. Carol begins:
“Entrepreneurs and business owners need to negotiate in almost all aspects of their business, from deal terms and payment schedules to salaries and more. But, negotiating is more of an art than a science. And entrepreneurs can learn a lot about the art of negotiation from playing poker. So, here are a few easy tips from the world of poker that you can apply to get the upper hand in your business negotiations:
1. Position is everything.
In poker, arguably the best position to be in is “on the button.” This means that you get to act last, after everyone else has made their decision if they are going to play in a particular hand or not. When you’re on the button, you can make your decision to call (match the bet), raise the bet or fold your hand with full information, because you’ve seen what everyone else is going to do.
Approach your business negotiations the same way. Be patient and wait for the other parties involved to throw out the first offers. This gives you an idea of where they’re at, so that you can adjust your counter-offer accordingly and ensures that you don’t sell yourself short by putting an offer out that is too low.
2. Don’t be afraid of the re-raise.
Re-raising in poker is a tactic whereby one player raises the bet that is out there and then, a different player raises that other player’s raise. It can be scary to do that in poker and in business negotiations, as well.
But, don’t be afraid of the re-raise. It can be tempting to accept a first offer, especially if you really need the deal, but if you’re willing to accept that offer, don’t be afraid to try and re-raise it! The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no and if they do, you’re no better or worse off than if you hadn’t tried.”
You can read the rest of the post here.