Negotiating with a client before sealing the deal is something that happens all the time. After all, who doesn’t try to get the best bargain for whatever they need, right? While you should give your clients some wiggle room to negotiate, you should employ a few tactics to ensure that you get the most out of your deal.
Knowing how to negotiate will not only give you the best deal when you close, but it will also show your client that you are a force to be reckoned with. It will show your clients that you know your worth. It will also tell them that you are not that inflexible and can be asked for a little leeway.
How to Negotiate with Clients without Losing Out
Some people tend to give in to what a client asks just to close the deal. This is sometimes the case when a client promises more business in the future if they are given the bargain price they are asking. This may cause you to lose out and should never be the case.
For you to be able to get the best from your deal, and for your client to feel they got the bargain they deserve, you should try using these three negotiating tactics.
- Make sure you have all your facts ready – having all the facts that you need when you come to the negotiating table will help you get the best out of the deal you are about to offer. Before meeting with your client, make sure to know these three things: the standard industry rate for what you are offering, what the acceptable top price is, and how low your best competitor is willing to go. While some of the information you need may not be readily available (like the lowest price your competitor is willing to accept for the same service), having useful facts for negotiating is crucial to getting the best deal.
- Try to sit on the same side of the table with your client – some people view this as an awkward move, given that you are on opposing sides of the deal. The logic behind this move is to actually make your client feel that you are on the same side and not opposed with one another. This may make them feel more inclined to go with your initial offer since it will develop a sense of mutuality. Your sitting on the same side of the table will help change the atmosphere from one that is competitive to one that is cooperative.
- Always come prepared with an alternative – if what you are offering is too pricey for your client but you cannot lower your rate since it will devalue what you offer, try to present an alternative. Coming to the table with an option that is not as good as the primary offer, but is within the price range that your client is eyeing, can give you a middle ground. It can still allow you to close the deal, with the hopes of upgrading to your pricier initial offer in the future, and without compromising on the price for your premium services.
What to Prepare Before Coming to the Negotiating Table
Before you even begin to think about negotiating, you first need to prepare for what is about to happen. There are a lot of things you need to organize before any deal-making occurs. Here are some of them:
- Information – know what the client needs, what they want, how soon they want it, and who else is in the running for the contract. Don’t go into a deal unprepared or you can get steamrolled into doing something for a fraction of what it actually costs.
- Proposal – never enter into negotiations without a carefully written proposal. Make sure that you use a professional business proposal to give your prospective client the impression that you mean business. Anything less than a professional looking proposal will make you look amateurish and not worth what you are asking for.
- Self-assurance – coming to the negotiating table with confidence will give you more power than you can imagine. When you exude confidence, you will be viewed as someone who knows what they are talking about.
- Flexibility – while you should not be too flexible, being rigid is not a good idea either. Meet with your client with some flexibility regarding the deal you are about to present, but don’t jump the gun. Don’t be too eager to offer your other option until you have exhausted all possible arguments for your initial offer.
Negotiating has never been, and will never be, an easy skill to master. If you master it, however, you will find that closing your deals and contracts will go smoother than ever. You will also gain the respect of your peers and the clients that you deal with. This is because they know that you are a master at getting what you want while allowing your client to settle with their own favorable terms.