- Know your business inside out - know your cost of goods sold and what is in your offering so that you know what you can negotiate on and what you best avoid in the negotiation. You can't negotiate on little or no knowledge as this will lead to you giving things up in the negotiation that you couldn't afford to give up on - and you could end up working for nothing.
- Know the other person's business inside out - or at least as best as you can. The better you know the other person's business, the better you will understand why they need your product or service. And the better you understand that, the more likely you will be to know what can and can't be negotiated with them.
- If your prospective client doesn't have an online presence or profile, ask them questions, ask them about themselves and their business. They'll generally be happy to answer your questions.
- Be clear about why you do what you do, and why you are the right person to work with this prospect. And that means if you discover you are not the right person, say so. Never create a force fit ... just think about when the ugly sisters forced the glass slipper onto their feet. Eventually it pinged off and flew into the air. A force fit seldom works out well.
- Be prepared to walk away. If you're desperate for the contract you will be coming from a difference space than if you want to deliver, if you want to be of service. Which means if the other party negotiates to a point that you are not happy with, then you walk away from the negotiation.
- Remember that the negotiation is about the other party, not you. It's about them finding the position where their trust in you and the offering match. If they negotiate hard it tells you one of two things - either they're not ready to buy because you've not built enough trust with them yet; or what you're selling isn't scarce enough for them to believe they should buy your offering at the price you've set. And that generally comes back to you not having built enough trust with them yet. It all comes down to the trust.
- It's not personal. The person who takes negotiation personally loses the negotiation.
- It's all about communicating in a way that inspires the other person, that makes them want to work with you, that increases their desire to work with you.
Get all these things right in your negotiations will increase your success rate. Are you ready? Go negotiate!