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Category: Loyalty · 4 min read

Ace Your Next Negotiation

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on October 9, 2018

author profile photo

on October 9, 2018

two men at a coffee table, smiling

At some point in the process of owning your own business, you’re going to have to negotiate. 

I’m talking about major negotiations, not Craigslist-level bidding. Whether it’s with vendors, business partners, or potential employees, you have to be ready to negotiate and come to an agreement that both sides can be happy with. 

For some, negotiating can be intimidating (it used to be for me, too). In my years of negotiating experience, I’ve followed and used these five rules to help me negotiate successfully.

 

1. Begin with Education

Before you start negotiating, make sure you understand the situation. Educate yourself on the other party and understand where they’re coming from. Taking a step back and focusing on the other party, instead of yourself, helps you identify their motives and what they ultimately want out of this deal. 

When it comes time to negotiate, this knowledge can help you make a counter-offer that appeals to them and still accomplishes their overall goal. A key part of negotiating is persuasion, and having this “in the back your head” can help you convince the other party to agree to your deal. 

 

2. Come Prepared

Much like a job interview or client presentation, coming prepared to negotiations is a necessity. You don’t want to show up without a plan or without a reason why you’re making that specific offer or requesting that specific change. Do background research beforehand on the other party and on your position. This includes numbers and data that support your position and explain your reasoning. 

Once you’ve done the research, bring your findings and reasonings to the negotiation. When it comes time to present your offer or position, talk about (and show) the data and numbers you found. Have proof to back up your claim. Doing this shows that you know what you’re talking about, and proves that your offer is reasonable and factual. 

 

3. Think Beyond Price

Most negotiations are solely focused on money, but think beyond that. What other variables could be shifted and used? Are there certain perks, guarantees, or timelines that could be adjusted or leveraged to sway the negotiations? If so, bring those up and use them, if necessary. They may offer just the leverage you need to get the deal done. 

 

4. Know Your Limits

How far are you willing to go? What’s your lowest or highest number? Before you start negotiating, understand what your starting position is and how far you’re willing to compromise. Knowing where you stand and what your limits are helps you know when to back out, and not end up agreeing to something you might regret.

This also helps the negotiation not spiral out of control. Stick to your strategy and know when to walk away. 

 

5. Have the Right Attitude

Your attitude going in to the negotiation is key. If you’re dreading it and are intimidated or threatened by it, then it’s likely the final deal won’t end up in your favor. Instead, view it as a challenge. Think of it as an opportunity to prove that your position and business is valuable. Negotiating isn’t arguing; it’s working together to come to an agreement where both sides profit. Having the right mindset going in makes it more likely you’ll find a win-win solution, and will make the negotiation process go more smoothly. 

 

It’s Time to Ace it

Negotiations aren’t easy, but with these tips in mind, you can ace your next negotiation and ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible. 

For more advice on negotiations and how to build your business, check out our Loyalty Builder services or contact us today. 

 

For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. #18-0603-073019

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Written By

Kelly McCarty

Executive Vice President

Kelly McCarty is the Executive Vice President of Brokers International. Kelly has a passion for educating, retaining, recruiting, and helping IMOs/FMOs build their agencies, and is committed to building and retaining strong relationships with producers, agencies, and carriers. Kelly also serves as a Member of the Brokers International Board of Directors and was designated as the organization's Ambassador in 2016.

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