Every business of every size 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 absolutely critical to the success of your business.

And being an effective negotiator doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s some simple, but very powerful negotiation tips to keep in mind that will help you find that win win more often than not: 

Do your research

When it comes to negotiations, there’s no substitutes for knowing the ins and outs of your market. 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.

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 deal easier.

Make it a positive experience for both

People like doing business with people that 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.

Listen more than you talk

You can only create a win-win situation if you not only understand your customer’s motivations, but the motivations behind the motivations – in other words, understanding why they truly 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.

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 are going to 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.

Put it in writing, immediately

Deals can slip between your fingers if they lose momentum. Use Invoice2go 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 pay day.