The Question That Changed My Business
We all have uh-oh moments in our businesses. The ones where we’ve been asked a question that we should have a nice neat answer to, but come up blank and bumbling.
For me, that question was: What The Heck Is Negotiation?
It’s what I do for cryin’ out loud! How could I possibly not have a clear response on the tip of my tongue?!
The thing is, negotiation means different things to different people.
Some think that you’re in battle. Fighting it out with an opponent to see who’s strong enough to emerge victorious.
Others see it as an ultimate manipulation, or a test of their powers of persuasion. The goal: to make someone agree to something they really, really, really shouldn’t.
But neither of those ideas fits with what negotiation is to me. (Thank goodness – can you image how much of a jerk I’d need to be to be spouting either of those as a way for you to improve your business? Eesh.)
Having thought for a good long while about what negotiation really means to me, and how I’d define it, I shared my epiphany in my weekly letter a little while ago.
The response I got from readers was pretty mind-blowing…
This new definition had helped them shift perspective on not only what negotiation is, but also how it can help them as they grow their businesses.
So instead of keeping it a little secret, I’m sharing it with everyone.
Negotiation is about transformation.
It’s about taking something that doesn’t work for you, and transforming it into something that does.
How does that feel? What comes to mind?
Thinking about negotiation as being a transformation kinda takes the pressure down a notch. And it works for anything you need to change in your business.
You’re not cheap – you’re looking to change a proposal that’s outside your budget range.
You’re not greedy – you’re focused on transforming a project into one that generates profit.
You’re not lazy – you’re keen to improve your efficiency by making changes to your client support hours.
How can you put this to work in your business?
Step 1: Figure out what’s not working.
When have you been exasperated or, frankly, pissed off, in the last 6 months? Those are all situations that are ripe for transformation.
Step 2: Identify the precise Why behind the ‘this sucks!’ feeling.
Were you feeling poor after paying too much? Resentful after doing a great job and still not making enough to pay the bills? Totally exhausted after yet another 3am client panic?
Step 3: Commit to transformation.
It’s not enough to know why you’re feeling upset/resentful/tired. Now is when you do something about it. Commit to taking action within the week to changing it. Send an email, pick up the phone, or update your terms.