Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Art of Negotiation

If you work in any kind of business, like myself, and are responsible to adhere to a budget...negotiation can be key to success.

I am a strong believer in negotiating. And , for the most part, I actually enjoy it.

Fortunately for us, the current business person, we can communicate and yes negotiate over email. I honestly believe that negotiating in this way can really make someone feel more powerful and less likely to cave in moments of awkward discussion. I certainly feel powerful.

I've negotiated over email in my personal life, like with the purchase of my beloved MDX and with mostly all business life vendors. I have learned that people want my business and always leave room for some negotiation to take place. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with asking and have yet to find a vendor not be able to meet me at some compromise so that it becomes a win for them and a win for me.

Here are some important steps I do before entering a negotiation period:
  1. Be prepared. Know everything that you are looking for and draft a formal list. Do not forget anything.
  2. Investigate Comps. Make sure you are educated on what others in the business are charging for the exact same services.
  3. Be precise. Communicate with precise descriptions and ask for detailed service estimate breakdowns.
  4. Be polite. Always treat the vendor as you want to be treated, because the start of this relationship will spill over into the whole relationship. You want them to want to work with you.
  5. Don't be afraid to ask. Once you have established your relationship and collected everything from their proposal, if the number is too high, don't be afraid to ask where negotiation can take place. There's always somewhere or something. Remember, they want your business and want to make this work for you.
Negotiating is an art and can be enjoyable. Your end result of a successful negotiation should lead to both parties feeling like they have both won.

That's my little tidbit for the day...inspired by successfully negotiating a deal of mine today. I feel empowered and I hope you will too!

Have a great Wednesday!

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