THREE Killer Shark Tips for Navigating Tough Negotiations in a Post-Covid Era

The art of negotiation is just like any other business dealings, you must constantly look to sharpen your skills and adjust to the current times. A lot has changed over the last year and negotiating investment deals has become even harder for most small businesses. The scales have been tipped in investors favor, new risks are being considered, and even the way we do deals has changed. But as a killer shark negotiator, you should be able to adapt and leverage yourself in a good position to close even the toughest of deals in a post-Covid era. Check out these 3 tips that will help you kill it in any investment negotiation.

Put on Your Game Face

It’s important to remember your demeanor will set the tone for negotiation. If you’re super nervous or too excited in general, you run the risk of making the other party feel uneasy.  If investors sense you’re being too eager, they’ll wonder why and start thinking there is something not quite right, like start wondering if the price they’re paying is too high – perhaps that is why you’re desperate to close this deal fast. Or if you come off as weak and nervous,  you’ll find that investors will see how far they can push your limits. They’ll do things like the day before closing that deal, they’ll suddenly change the offer to 90% of what you originally agreed to. Last minute, simply in an attempt to short you because you’re desperate you just might have to take it.

Yes, negotiators are aware that they currently have the upper hand. Coming by solid investors has been quite difficult during all this Covid chaos. Especially for small businesses and start-ups outside of the tele-health industry. But even when you’re in dire need of a deal, never ever let the other party even get a hint that you’re desperate. Real sharks will quickly sniff it out and eat you alive. Maintain confidence in your business ideas and know you’re worth it. Stand on what you believe your business is worth because if you start to waiver, investors will strike at the sign of weakness.

Keep Up with the Times

Investors are practical people. They don’t care about the worth you “feel” your business has, they want to see real life applications and results. Is your business prepared to operate under all the crazy changes the Covid has brought about. Have you created a game plan just in case a mass lockdown strikes again. Were you able to successfully navigate the trying times small businesses have faced over the last year?  Can your business build around the industry disruption that we are experiencing? These are practical questions that you should be ready to answer for investors. Show them that you are aware of current times and not living off in lala land winging it with a dream and a prayer. After all, investors want to feel secure in where they are putting their money.

You have to make sure your business is relevant in today’s world. For instance, it would be extremely foolish for you to think that you can pitch a business idea in 2021 without any online presence. Clearly, we have witnessed many companies fall to the pits because they did not have a solid online presence when Covid struck. How can an investor feel secure in giving you money if you haven’t even learned from these kinds of devastating mistakes. Ways you increase your chances of landing a kick ass deal are to demonstrate how you were able to “Covid-proof” your business, and show ways your business can enhance the growing tele-health, WFH, and delivery based industries.

Leverage Increased Remote Activity

Remote negotiations are on the rise and this can be used to your advantage as someone seeking funding. You now have more access than ever to investors all over the world with the rise of Zoom meetings and conference calls. This not only gives you the opportunity to expand your search, but it also allows you to increase the volume. You can now schedule multiple meetings and cut out the travel time. It’s now possible for you to schedule meetings in New York and LA in one day or even meet with multiple stakeholders in different locations. The more deals you can get on the table, the better the outcome will be before you. Creating high demand almost always gives you the upper hand.

Another thing you can leverage with remote negotiations is embracing your ability to take charge and control the meeting, even before it starts. Create a detailed agenda and keep things clear and concise. You also have the ability to record negotiations (with permission of course). It’s great for record keeping and you can also use the film to help you know where you can improve your negotiation skills for future deals.

While times have certainly changed, you have the ability to adapt and secure the deals you are looking for. So, get out there, put on your game face, keep up with current times, create new leverages and close the deal. Enhancing your current negotiating strategy with these 3 simple tips will help you easily nail any deal even if the scales aren’t tipped in your favor to begin with.

Want more killer shark tips? CLICK HERE to sign up for the Z-Shark Newsletter


Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.