Why You Need To Negotiate

If we settled for the status quo. If we accepted ‘good enough’ … would we ever have achieved such greatness?

There are so many different ways to run a business. Each of us has our own unique take on what we do and how we do it. Some of us thrive when working face-to-face. Others prefer keeping our clients at screen’s length. Big business. Small business. Product-based. Service-based. Home office, corner office or beach office.

But despite all of these differences, there are some universal business truths. Things that we all need to be doing in order to achieve our best business results – no matter how we’ve chosen to define that success.

 

The truth today?

You need to negotiate.

Here’s why:

1) No one knows your value better than you do

The only person that knows how much work, investment and time that went into the development of your product or service is you. It can feel a bit insulting when offers come in that are super low, and you may start second guessing your own worth…don’t.

Negotiations are your opportunity to communicate with potential clients, customers, and even vendors what your value is and what your expectations are when you do business with them. If you’re not negotiating, and coming from a place of educating about and illustrating your value, your business results will suffer.

{Example: Personal Stylist} Illustrate and educate on your value right off the bat by creating tiered packages for how clients can work with you. This helps establish the expectations of what your time and expertise is worth. This is a great pro-active negotiation technique, because it helps you avoid receiving awkwardly low offers. In negotiation parlance, you’re ‘anchoring’ the discussion around a set of numbers that will work for you and your business goals.
 

2) You’ll find flexibility everywhere

In business, it’s rare to come across a term, condition or price that is truly 100% non-negotiable. Why? Because there’s always more to it than meets the eye.

It’s not just about a dollar value – there’s a whole bucket of other variables that come along with that price tag…and each one of them is an opportunity to negotiate and shape a better deal for yourself. The magic comes in uncovering those variables, and then finding creative ways to put them together. 

{Example: Event planner} When faced with a ‘no’…your first response should be of the ‘why?’ variety. Finding the perfect venue for a client’s party, and then having them say ‘No, we don’t accept private parties.’ ss a bummer… but why don’t they accept? Did they get burned with a last minute cancellation? Was their dining room damaged by kids run wild? Are they short a few wait staff? When you’re getting a non-negotiable response, figuring out what really lies beneath it will help you get creative, and secure the result you’re looking for.



3) There’s always room for improvement

Good enough? Done? Finished? Perfect? Never – your business is always developing. Each business deal and relationship you have is the same – there’s always room for improvement or change. Even when things are going along swimmingly, and there’s nothing major that screams out for change or negotiation…there may be a little something that could improve your business results. Don’t overlook these seemingly insignificant opportunities. Incremental changes can add up to big results. And even if you’ve had contracts and relationships in place for years and years? Don’t slip into the comfort zone of the status quo – come at it with fresh eyes and see where you can tweak.

[Example: Web designer} You’re on top of technology and have upgraded your skills and offerings…but some of your clients are stuck using older technology and troublesome templates. Your development work takes so much longer, and isn’t as great of an example of your skill set as it once was. Go back and negotiate improvements with your loyal customers. Would a template upgrade make your life easier? (Offer it at a discount to get them on board, and then reap the reward of all that time saved.) Do you need to up your ages-old rates? Ask for it!
 

4) Because you can!

You need to negotiate…because you can! You are empowered to ask for what your businesses needs. There’s no such thing as being too small, or too new to negotiate. You have wants and needs…and you have a voice.

{Example: You} My negotiation challenge to you: Think of 3 things in your business right now that you could negotiate an improvement on.  They can be big things (a multi-year lease?) or small things (moving the start time of a meeting). Can’t think of anything? Think of the last time your gut feeling when working with a client or customer was anything less than ‘Heck ya!’. That’s your sign that there’s something in there you could improve with a negotiation.

 

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