Professional Painting Contractors Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

· "Member"
10,719 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
10 Techniques for Better Negotiation

By Sloan Brothers with Daniel Kehrer -

Startup entrepreneurs are not always the best negotiators. They step into the shoes of a business owner for the first time and find — to their surprise — that nearly everything involves negotiation of some kind, and they may not always have those negotiation techniques down.
Starting a business requires, quite literally, hundreds of negotiations. Some are small, like securing the best price on printing your letterhead and business cards. Others are far bigger deals that can make or break your startup business from the get-go. Sometimes you are the buyer; other times the seller. Either way, the skills you need to be a good negotiator are the same.
For some small business owners, it comes naturally. They're the ones who started negotiating an allowance and extra TV time with their parents at age four. For most of us, however, it comes through effort and experience. Rarely is it something you learned as part of a formal education.
Here are ten tactics that can make you a better, more confident negotiator on behalf of your small business:
Ten Negotiation Techniques:

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Enter a negotiation without proper preparation and you've already lost. Start with yourself. Make sure you are clear on what you really want out of the arrangement. Research the other side to better understand their needs as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Enlist help from experts, such as an accountant, attorney or tech guru.
  2. Pay attention to timing. Timing is important in any negotiation. Sure, you must know what to ask for. But be sensitive to when you ask for it. There are times to press ahead, and times to wait. When you are looking your best is the time to press for what you want. But beware of pushing too hard and poisoning any long-term relationship.
  3. Leave behind your ego. The best negotiators either don't care or don't show they care about who gets credit for a successful deal. Their talent is in making the other side feel like the final agreement was all their idea.
  4. Ramp up your listening skills. The best negotiators are often quiet listeners who patiently let others have the floor while they make their case. They never interrupt. Encourage the other side to talk first. That helps set up one of negotiation's oldest maxims: Whoever mentions numbers first, loses. While that's not always true, it's generally better to sit tight and let the other side go first. Even if they don't mention numbers, it gives you a chance to ask what they are thinking.
  5. If you don't ask, you don't get. Another tenet of negotiating is "Go high, or go home." As part of your preparation, define your highest justifiable price. As long as you can argue convincingly, don't be afraid to aim high. But no ultimatums, please. Take-it-or-leave-it offers are usually out of place.
  6. Anticipate compromise. You should expect to make concessions and plan what they might be. Of course, the other side is thinking the same, so never take their first offer. Even if it's better than you'd hoped for, practice your best look of disappointment and politely decline. You never know what else you can get.
  7. Offer and expect commitment. The glue that keeps deals from unraveling is an unshakable commitment to deliver. You should offer this comfort level to others. Likewise, avoid deals where the other side does not demonstrate commitment.
  8. Don't absorb their problems. In most negotiations, you will hear all of the other side's problems and reasons they can't give you what you want. They want their problems to become yours, but don't let them. Instead, deal with each as they come up and try to solve them. If their "budget" is too low, for example, maybe there are other places that money could come from.
  9. Stick to your principles. As an individual and a business owner, you likely have a set of guiding principles — values that you just won't compromise. If you find negotiations crossing those boundaries, it might be a deal you can live without.
  10. Close with confirmation. At the close of any meeting — even if no final deal is struck — recap the points covered and any areas of agreement. Make sure everyone confirms. Follow-up with appropriate letters or emails. Do not leave behind loose ends.
Our Bottom Line:

When it comes to entrepreneurial talents that spell success in the world of startups, the ability to negotiate well is one of the most vital attributes you can possess. Take care to develop this skill. Some people think they are good negotiators, but in reality are not. From bringing in good people, to arranging financing or nailing that first big deal, sound negotiating techniques will be essential.

· Banned
472 Posts
#8 hits me in the head...
"The last guy took my deposit, and never showed up"
I said; "Thats why I'm here, to put the deposit you give me..on your job"
Soon as they gain control... "your Done"
Balance; listening, answering, asking.... sold

· I'm Colour Blind
1,630 Posts
I aint fo sure but I think that right there is spam
No Spam from me on PT, Verm!

TimHag must have used a smilie from our site. Any image from our site is hotlink protected. I just quoted him and it remained within my text and Tim's post too.
These smilies may have come from various places as TH quite rightly suggests, but in this instance the image must have been taken from our site, hence the humungous logo. It does say on the logo; Hotlinking images is not allowed from 'xyz'. i.e. us.

Anyhow, I hope this doesn't cause a problem to you folks and that this clarifies why the PPS logo appeared on PT?!

mistcoat :thumbsup:

· Banned
662 Posts
My advice on negotiating is to first read out the customer, by approaching with hand shake, eye contact - all just the right amount, with a nice greeting while remaining totally open, in a neutral state of mind, in order to mimmick their behavior in a way.

Get them to open up by small talk and humor if you can pull it off correctly. Getting someone to laugh a bit opens them up naturally. Then you can get more information easier from them. There is no right way or wrong way, just saying let yourself come out in dealing with people, because pretending to put on an act comes off as fake and untrustworthy.

As you are going over the project, in small ways point out your knowledge and expertise, and start knocking down any misperceptions by the customer. Doing this with some interesting information on painting, prep, etc, will show you are confident, and that therefore will earn you respect.

Finally the negotiation can take place, on a solid foundation. This is where you need to know you may later be asked to possibly come down on your estimate, yet may not happen, so know your numbers, and give a solid price with room to maneuver.

Going back, if you are able to read the individual correctly, and you get that feeling as if they are looking for the least expensive, you can always get them to except reality, by reinforcing your knowledge in the field, with your experience - again it's confidence.

The bottom line, customers or people in general sense confidence, especially in business. Hopefully this can help others out, and makes sense - selling is negotiating, you are trying to find a solution for a need, but it is an art, with time it gets better.

· Banned
662 Posts
That 10 point list btw, is pretty good, it's more or less general so it gives an idea.

Some customers, are looking to get any kind of deal, it's like a feel good for them, in order to do business, so that is why you need to read that person, and also give yourself some room in pricing. Make sure to also be relaxed, but not look to relaxed in your behavior, meaning hold a professional facade, just don't be uncomfortable.

Some customers are very easy and you therefore don't need to overkill on sales, keep it easy when needed and close it quickly. I am this type of customer, I know what I want and when I buy it or the service, be friendly and I will be your best customer, I hear this often.

Shopper type customers, unfamiliar, indecisive, these types are tricky, only from experience will you learn how to deal with them. The basics would be don't push forward for an answer, step back. Let them come to you, just like when trying to take home that hottie at the bar. Some people just don't feel right buying from someone they are feeling pressured by, know this, and keep your composure, yet stay a bit more relaxed, yet professional.

Then there are those customers, who are reading you out the whole time, for a reason, they have egos, and feel as if they are almighty. Lower yourself a bit, in confidence as you may, it deflates their egos, and takes away their buzz from it all. You then will need to command at the right time and lead these types. These are serious pain in the ass type customers, and they are usually ego driven people. You will spot them a mile away....

There are other scenarios, but these are some general tips on types of people, that may help some.

· house painter
2,333 Posts
#2 when the customer is sweating, turn up the heat.

#3 acting stupid is often smart.

#5 if you cant break a contract, bend it.

#36 when someone says "it's not the money," they're lying

#37 you can always buy back a lost reputation

#39 praise is cheap. heap it on generously on all customers.

#43 caressing an ear is often more forceful than pointing a weapon.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.