Every small business needs a negotiation strategy. Whether you’re negotiating the terms of large deals or going back and forth on minor details of the job, knowing how to create a win-win for you and your clients is critical to your business’s success.
And being an effective negotiator doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s some simple but powerful negotiation tips to keep in mind that will help you find that win-win more often than not:
1. Do your research
There’s no substitutes for knowing the ins and outs of your market when it comes to negotiations. Particularly with regards to the competition. Your prospects will shop around before closing the deal with you. Don’t doubt it for a moment.
Everyone wants quality service for the best price, but knowing your market will not only ensure you have a fair price, but you’re offering something that helps your business stand out. Know what’s happening in your industry and how changes might affect your customers. Your customer wants to know they’re working with an expert, and they’ll often pay a premium for it.
2. Sell them on the ‘why’ behind what you do
Share the story of your business and why you do what you do. Your customer should know there’s a lot more to working with you than the deal that’s currently on the table. Establishing a connection between your customer and your brand can make closing the sale easier.
3. Make it a positive experience for both
People enjoy doing business with people they like. Invest the time in developing rapport and setting the tone for a positive outcome. Smile, ask them about their work, their family, and create a friendly environment to set the stage for your negotiations now and far into the future.
4. Listen more than you talk
You can only create a win-win situation if you understand your customer’s motivations and the motivations behind those motivations. In other words, understanding why they genuinely want to engage with your service. Spend a lot of time asking questions and listening to their perspective so you’ll be better equipped to find a solution.
5. Never lead with the price
If your pricing is readily available, that’s one thing, but if you are negotiating pricing elements, get your customer to throw out a number first. If they come in too low, let them know that that price is doable but not with all the service elements they will need for the job to be done right.
You can work up from there depending on what’s important to them. Throwing out a price first usually means you’re backed into going down from there, and your customer has all the control.
6. Put it in writing immediately
Deals can slip between your fingers if they lose momentum. Use Invoice2go, a Bill.com company, to create a professional-looking estimate based on your conversation immediately so you can reinforce the details in writing and keep the project moving fast from that point on.
Deliver it quickly via email or text, so it lands in their hands before they have a chance to forget, and you’ll be well on your way to your next payday.
We hope you enjoyed these small business negotiation tips. For more helpful advice on small business success, join our subscriber success community. Each week we share stories and advice – all aimed at helping you achieve the business results you deserve.