Entrepreneurs and the Art of Negotiation

Unless your customer buys directly from your website or your store,
you likely have had to negotiate a time or two. For some, negotiating
comes easily. For most, it doesn't.

Like it or not, if you're an entrepreneur, negotiation is a
necessity. Knowing how to get what you're worth without pushing is a
careful balance, and will take practice.

I recently attended the Florida Conference for Women, and Tory Johnson of Women for Hire
shared a story with the audience about how when a group of people were
shortchanged in being paid for a focus group, the men automatically
negotiated for more, while the majority of the women took the lesser
amount without complaint. It says a lot about our different styles,
doesn't it? No matter if you're a man or a woman, you need strong
negotiating skills to survive in this environment.

Here are a few tips and resources to help you.

  • Know what you're worth. If you think you're only
    worth $25 per hour, then you probably are. But if you shift your
    mindset and believe you are now worth $50 per hour, then you are better
    able to negotiate.
  • Don't take low paying jobs. They only perpetuate more. Strive for the jobs/clients that you would love to duplicate.
  • Aim high. If you know your tendency is to bid
    low, add 20% to what you would normally charge. You never know! You
    might actually get it. And if not you have room to negotiate without
    cutting profit too much.
  • Build value. Rather than letting your client cut
    your price, add bonuses to the price you've already laid on the table.
    Throw in a free product or service to sweeten the deal.
  • Don't be desperate. People can sense that. Be prepared to walk away if the deal isn't getting you what you want and deserve.

Here are some sites that can help you further with negotiation:

How to Negotiate

Negotiation Skills for Any Situation

Dr. Phil: How to Negotiate

About the Author: Susan Payton