Negotiation Is Not A Race (why it's ok to slow down, have a break, or take a step back in your business)

Measure twice, cut once. Look before you leap. Slow and steady wins the race. All valid…so why do we treat negotiations, and our businesses like a race of closing, signing, launching and shipping?

I come with two settings – All In and No Way José. I simply cannot half-ass anything when it comes to my business, or life…and here’s why that’s ok by me.

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How To Admit Mistakes The Right Way

Oh crap. You’ve goofed. A mistake has been made and you’re mighty embarrassed by it. What do you do?

 

What you want to do is hide under the covers and try and pretend it never happened…and hope no one will notice.

Sigh. But we all know that’s not the best way to handle making a mistake (after all, ‘hope is not a strategy’). 

Here’s your 3 step process to how to admit that you’ve made a mistake, and how to make it right.

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How To Avoid Getting Trapped In A Bad Contract

Binding agreements. Our contracts outline what our responsibilities are, how they’re to be performed, when, by whom and – the highlight – how much it’s going to cost. Entering into a business relationship without a contract can be risky. But so can signing one if it doesn’t have all the right ingredients to protect us.

 

One of the biggest questions to ask yourself before signing a contract is “What if…?”

“What if my business changes?”

“What if the client needs more from me?”

“What if demand goes through the roof?”

The clauses that help cover you in these instances are what I like to call the escape clauses. The ones that let you re-open a negotiation to change terms that no longer work for you, and the ones that give you an opportunity to say goodbye.

Let’s look at how these clauses can come into play for your contracts.

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Professional Communication: To swear? Or not to swear?

The first time I swore was while on vacation in Florida with my family. I was about 13, and had dropped my copy of Wuthering Heights into the hotel pool. As it landed, a great big s-bomb flew out of my mouth. I looked at my Dad, and it was one of those moments where you’re filled with fear…but also pride that you’ve somehow crossed over from childhood to adolescence.

My repertoire has expanded since then, and frankly, sometimes I surprise myself. But, I still consider myself to be poised, polite and professional…so I choose my audiences and timing carefully.

Is it appropriate to swear in a negotiation? Does it hurt your cause? Or can it actually move you forward? Let’s take a closer look at the 3 things you need to consider before dropping a bomb…

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Why You Need To Negotiate

To run your business – whether you’re a fabulous personal stylist, have the hippest café in town, or spend your days bringing a smile to clients’ faces with your beauty care – there are certain things you need to do. Have a great idea. Communicate with potential customers effectively. Work your buns off.

And negotiate.

Sure, you can make sales, bring in revenue and deliver great service to all of your clients…but that may just be ‘good enough’. Negotiation is how you move that needle towards ‘great’.

You – yes you – need to get negotiating…here’s why.

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Bring Your Business Clarity With Plain English Contracts

In your business, you’re a dynamo. Knocking items off the to-do list like a champ. Building connections. Delivering amazing service to your clients and making sure all of your customers are beyond happy when they receive your product.

But all of that can be brought to a standstill when something goes wrong with a contract.

A lot of contracts – with clients, vendors, partners – contain a whole lot of legal jargon. This legalese can be confusing, and if you’re not familiar with the terminology you can find yourself in trouble, fast.

Having clear contracts that support the priorities, requirements and desires of both you and your negotiation counterpart is essential and the easiest way to get those in place? Use plain ol’ English.

Here’s why you should make the switch from legalese to something that reads with ease…and my tips for how to make it happen.

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4 Tips For Negotiating With A Friend

Business is all about creating personal connections. Whether it’s meeting face-to-face at networking events, following each other on Twitter or sharing your experiences in a mastermind or workshop – it’s all about connections.

As an entrepreneur or indie business owner, you’re also likely connecting with people that share similar outlooks on business and life – these are folks that just ‘get it’.

Doing business with a friend can be an opportunity to help each other out or to collaborate on an exciting project. Your work together may feel more like a passion project than real business. Which is why breaking up the fun with a – gulp – negotiation may be something you try to avoid.

But you don’t have to. 

Negotiation and friendships can (and should!) co-exist, and having one in your life doesn’t have to mean rejecting the other. It won’t always be easy – but here are my top 4 tips for how you can make this work. You can have your friendships and your great business deals too.

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