Negotiations, even the word can cause stress in the minds of some people. With business owners, especially small business owners, the fear of negotiating can be the death knoll of the business. Even worse, when negotiating against larger organizations, small business owners, at times, are in such great fear of losing business opportunities they forgo the attempt to negotiate.
This writing is the first in a series of articles, written for small business owners. In the forth coming articles, we will explore the psychology behind the fear of negotiating. We will also discuss strategies that can be employed to overcome that fear and explore how to position the organizations of small businesses in a better position to negotiate.
In the American society of which we live, more so than any place in the world, we are taught to accept a price, or offer, when we are presented with it. We are taught not to question a price. When a price, or offer, is legitimized in writing, we tend to believe that price is etched in stone. It becomes unmovable to the degree that we mentally believe that to be the truth.
One simple question that can always be asked, when making a purchase is, can you do better on your price? When posed in the right environment, you will be surprised at the results (In a later issue, we will discuss how to get the seller into the right environment.) At worse, the response is, no. If thats the case, you have not lost anything. You are no worse off than before you asked the question. On the other hand, the seller just might lower her price. Thus, you save money.
Some people feel cheap or have their status lowered in their own minds, when they ask for a price reduction. We are all aware of some of the names that have been associated with people who employ these tactics. Unfortunately, two words that we don’t associate, and maybe we should, are better off. As you go throughout your day tomorrow, just for fun, ask people that you are making purchases from if they can do better on their price. If it makes you feel better, tell them you are seeking lower prices as part of a negotiation session you are involved in. Ask them to help you with this endeavor. Ask them to help by lowering their price by any small amount. Once you get good at negotiating, you can set a target amount that you would like to have taken off the cost of a service or merchandise. By the way, asking people to help you is a tactic you can use when negotiating. Most people love to help their fellow man. We will talk more about tactics in our next edition.
When it comes to negotiating, as the folks at Nike say, just do it! You might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.