SME Owners – 12 tips for successful negotiations

SME Owners – 12 tips for successful negotiations

How good are your negotiating skills? You cannot be an expert at everything but you can improve in your weaker areas. Do you have a good ‘poker face’ when negotiating a deal? Or do you allow your emotions to run away and end up paying over the odds?

Often when faced with so many critical business decisions it is hard not to get swept up in the satisfaction of ‘getting something done’ rather than evaluating exactly how to ‘get it done in the best way’ for your business and at the right price. The 12 tips below should help you strengthen your business negotiating skills and enable you to build your business.

Business Negotiation – 12 Negotiation Strategies for Business Owners

1. Do your research – This will strengthen your position immeasurably. Know the market price or standard terms for deals similar to the one you are negotiating.

2. Be prepared to walk away from the deal – You may really want this deal but if the other party can smell your desperation you may pay a high price for it. This is not just posturing, though – you must actually be prepared to walk away.

3. Know exactly what you want – Before starting the negotiating process draft a reference document summarising your expectations – this should list what you would be prepared to accept in terms of price, terms & conditions and payment schedules etc.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask – There probably isn’t a sign saying ‘prices & terms are negotiable’ but that does not mean you should automatically accept the price or terms you are quoted.

5. When you make your opening bid or offer come in at 50 – 60% of what you are prepared to pay. This allows you at least 40 % of wriggle room for you to reach an agreement while still securing a deal.

6. Do not get emotionally involved – this is why the ‘poker face’ is so necessary. Don’t be too quick to respond to counter offers or show your emotions if events are not progressing in the way you’d hoped. Stay calm.

7. If you’re not happy with any contract – don’t sign it. Suggest amendments – Make sure you have a lawyer evaluate any contract prior to you signing it and do not get lost in legalese. Stay focused on what you want to achieve with the deal.

8. Ask for more than you expect to get – You will be able to come down in price but you will not be able to go up. If possible get the other side to commit to a price or position first.

9.This is a business negotiation and not a boxing match – Consider the deal from the other person’s perspective. Think in terms of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement rather than winning or losing.

10. Be patient – some negotiations can last for months. One popular tactic is to refer any offer to a committee or authority figure which has the effect of slowing down the process. Be aware of this tactic and if necessary use it yourself to stop people rushing you into a decision.

11. Don’t forget to listen during the negotiating process – you’ll need to work out where there is room to manoeuvre and the other party will give you clues.

12. Balanced negotiations will work out better for you. – If you make a concession to the other party expect one in return otherwise the power and control is with them.

We hope you find these tips useful.We hope this information has been useful to you. If you’d like to talk to us about creating effective B2B Content Marketing for your business give us a call on +448452264247 or email us at are a leading B2B Content Marketing agency in London.

Kind regards,

Marketing Fundamentals Team

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Founder of Marketing Fundamentals Ltd, Blogger, Author & Content Creator