When Good Enough Is Perfect
What I’m about to tell you may not be the brightest business or marketing move on my part.
But it needs to be said, because it’s the truth.
You don’t need to negotiate all the time.
One of my favourite parts of working with entrepreneurs is when the fog lifts and they realize that they can ask for what they want – they can change something from ‘meh’ to magnificent in their business.
I get to be the angel on their shoulder, whispering encouragement and strategy into their ear. Doooooo itttttttt. Ask. Negotiate. Get it.
But you don’t always have to negotiate.
Sometimes, things are just fine as they are. And there’s really no point in negotiating just for the sake of it.
Rate, Payment, Timeline, Location, Ownership, Exclusivity.
If it’s ok, if it works for you, if you’re happy with it…
Sign, smile and say thank you.
Don’t start making changes or asking for more/bigger/better just because you think you should.
It makes you look cheap, or greedy.
If you’re a serial negotiator, chances are you don’t have strong reasons behind why you’re asking for things. It’s ‘because I should’ or ‘this checklist told me to’. When you can’t communicate a strong WHY when you’re making an ask, you’re guaranteed to come off looking cheap or greedy. And definitely amateur.
It diminishes your negotiating power.
Constantly asking for changes that aren’t essential gets you a ‘boy who cried wolf’ reputation. The more you ask for the little inconsequential things, the more you look like a nit-picker. So when the big important absolutely essential negotiation turns up, you’ve used up all of your ‘this is really important’ points. If everything is important… nothing is important.
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How To Know When To Speak Up
Here are 3 questions to use as a litmus test for whether or not it’s critical that you ask for a change
1) Will it damage your business, or put it at risk in the short term (1-3 months)
Take your rate as an example. If a client is only offering 1/2 of your normal rate, and this will make it impossible to keep your bills paid and food in your belly...you need to negotiate. If a client is offering 98% of your normal rate…you don’t need to ask for more. Good enough is perfect.
2) Will it damage your business, or put it at risk in the long term (3-5 years)
If a client sends you a contract that has you signing over all rights, for unlimited use, forever - and that’s not what your business model is all about…you need to negotiate. If a client is offering you a contract with all of that, and that is your business model…you don’t need to ask for a bunch of changes.
3) From an ethical / moral / heart-of-hearts perspective, will it keep you up at night?
No examples necessary. When you know what’s important to you as a businessperson and a human being, and a deal doesn’t align with that…you need to negotiate.
Have you ever gotten caught up in a whirlwind of empowerment and started asking for everything in sight? Ever tweak a contract or proposal one-too-many times and have it backfire?