Small business owners, too often, don’t have the confidence to negotiate business deals aggressively. They even tend to take the process too personally. In 2013, a study from the University of Oxford determined that entrepreneurs, to their detriment, are willing to express more emotion at the bargaining table. When dealing with much larger companies, small businesses feel that they are at a disadvantage. Small businesses believe they are the underdog. They end up giving away more than they get because they assume that they’re going to be pushed around.
It doesn’t have to be like this though. As a small business, don’t just accept the terms your customers come up with. In fact, to hold firm in even the most pressuring negotiations, there are several approaches you can apply.
Here’s how to strike a business deal that works best for you.
Never accept something without a concession in return. This is an important key trick when negotiating with large companies and clients. If they want a discount or to add specific insurance, always remember to make sure you get something for it in return.
Experience and training help generate confidence. It takes practice and planning. In order to get a real sense of what the other company might ask for, you can do a rehearsal with another employee. You can take the role of the person you’ll be dealing with or vice versa before the upcoming negotiation. Practice and training will help build your confidence when negotiating. Remember, if you shoot from the hip, you’re not going to get the best deal.
Know what deadlines your adversary has. This is another important key when negotiating with large companies. It helps to know what pressures your opponent is facing. For example, if you can help them make their year-end milestones, they will have more of an incentive to give you a price break.
Know your bottom line and stick with it. It’s important to know what your bottom line is and keep with it. Remember, if it’s going to take money out of your own pocket, you can always walk away from business. Stay true to yourself.
As a small business, don’t just accept the terms your customers come up with. By following these key points you can confidently strike a business deal that works best for you.