Running a business means you always have to strike good deals with your clients and partners and these 6 negotiation tips will help you deal with it confidently. If you want to close better deals in 2021, this quote from John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address still applies today:
“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”John F. Kennedy
So that you never fear a difficult conversation, these negotiation tips will help you stay calm, confident and get your desired outcome next time you have to close a deal.
Tip #1: A negotiation is NOT an attack
This is the best mindset tip we can share and it can make a difference. Move away from thinking it’s an attack and look at it as a positive sign the client wants to work with you. If they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t be wasting their precious time talking to you. They would simply say no from the beginning.
Why is this important? Because if you think it’s an attack, you will become defensive, you will start justifying and you will start compromising.
That’s not a good position to negotiate from.
If you’re not confident and you don’t believe in the value of your services, your client will start doubting too. And if the client can’t trust your expertise, chances are they will choose someone else who they can trust.
Tip #2: Prepare for a negotiation as you would prepare for an interview
If you think about it, an interview is a type of a negotiation setting. You go there to talk about your skills and expertise and convince the employer you are the best candidate for the job. Similarly, in a client negotiation, you will end up talking about why you are the best fit for them.
Preparation is key. So research the client, go back to what was said in your discovery call to understand what their problem is, how you can help them fix it and achieve their goals.
Think about any potential question they may ask so that you are not caught off guard. When that happens, you might talk faster, gesticulate, or become defensive. Worse, you could go completely blank and not find your words. Either way, you won’t seem very confident and that will make the client think twice before saying YES to working with you.
Tip #3: Negotiation is about empathy; put yourself in their shoes
Your priority is not their priority. They don’t really care that this contract will help your business scale or bring you financial stability. Try to see the reality from their perspective and understand what their priorities are. They care about their concerns, the problems or goals they have and how you can support them. Some need accountability, others need support or a sounding board. Some just need an expert to do the work for them and remove the hassle. Once you understand their reality, you will be able to offer and negotiate a deal that will work for both parties.
Tip #4: Use case studies and social proof to remove doubt
Showing them what you did for similar clients will help remove their worries and doubts. They will build trust that you can help them too, that you are truly an expert and you are worth the money. Seeing your process in practice will give them reassurance and help them visualise how your partnership will work.
A testimonial from a client will confirm their thoughts and perceptions of what you can do for them and will reassure them of making the right choice. Help them rationalise their decision even further.
Tip #5: Talking about values can help negotiate easier
People seek out values in other businesses as they would in friendships. Research into purchasing showed that when a purchase is tied to values, it makes customers more inclined to spend more money. If you have the opportunity to talk about your values and show how you act on them, do so. Your content is the best place for it. In a call, examples of situations that reveal your values, will make you more relatable. It will help your client connect with you even more and when that happens, emotions are triggered and the likelihood for a collaboration increases.
This doesn’t mean you should use manipulation or lie about your values. Authenticity is key when it comes to client relationships.
Tip #6: Your negotiation skills will get better with practice
We hope you find these negotiation tips handy! But if you’re still not comfortable to practice your skills out with a client, we created some templates to help you handle difficult conversations. The key is to try it out until it gets easier. But applying without a clue where to start, won’t ever make you want to try at all. These templates help you do just that. Even beyond the negotiation stage, some of these scripts cover:
- The right way to say NO to a client
- How to tell your client your prices have gone up
- Asking for testimonials
- Welcoming your client onboard
- Following up with a client after you sent them the proposal
And more! Discover all 27 templates here.
We created them to save you time and hassle. But more than anything, these templates are meant to give you a starting point in handling client questions and remove the discomfort of a negotiation. So that you can always get the best for your business.
Have you ever been in a situation where your fear of negotiation stopped you from getting the best possible outcome?