The Art of Negotiating

The Art of Negotiating

I just received an invoice from Company X who we have been doing business with for over 5 years. The invoice price came in at $1925.00. Not to belittle or insult people who work in accounts payable departments, but my guess is that the invoice would probably have been paid without a second glance, simply because we’ve been doing business with Company X for 5 years.


This is where eagle eyes win! As co-owner, I don’t allow ANY invoices to be paid without my careful attention.

I called up Company X and offered to pay $300.00. If you want my business to continue, and you want our name to be on your roster of clients… you need to cut me a deal.

Ballsy, aggressive, unheard of … you bet. Guess what, I just saved Catalogs.com $1,625.00.

Should one attempt to negotiate everything, or should we simply take the easy approach, sign on the dotted line, and cut the check for the full asking price?
I can answer this age old dilemma … negotiate, negotiate and still negotiate. Why? Because of several key reasons:

1. By entering into negotiations, the other party knows that you’re interested and concerned with details.

2. It creates a queer sense of respect, that you are not a “push-over” or someone who cares so little that you will settle on whatever is “standard.”

3. It establishes very quickly in the beginning of a new relationship that you are a bright, savvy business person that expects accommodations to be made if they are to obtain your business.

4. As a business owner, why pay more than you have to. It is better to spend the minimum amount required for the services or products needed, and take the “saved” money and reinvest in your business.

5. Even if you are NOT successful at lowering the price you pay, you will have established a clear precedent for future business that every dollar requested will be carefully reviewed and weighed. It also will serve as a reminder that you are prone to “shop around” for the best deal and that the other party better not take advantage of your business.

Many many great books (on dvd and audio) on the Art of Negotiating can be found at Simply Audio Books.

Check out the American Management Association - they offer skills on how to improve and hone your negotiating skills.

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