Don’t be afraid to walk away. The greatest bargaining chip that your prospect or
client has is knowing that you won’t, or
can’t, walk away. Many times we make this obvious
in the way we approach negotiations, telegraphing our need to win or retain their business. If you
aren’t able or willing to walk away from a deal, you
have lost all leverage in the negotiating process.
If clients or prospects have no other way
to differentiate potential service providers, then they
fall back on the only thing they can—price.
What sets your firm apart?
No matter how scary or undesirable it might feel,
you have to enter and conduct negotiations with
the willingness to walk away from the business. Just
by adopting this mindset, you level the playing field
and greatly improve your chances of getting the
deal you want.
Be Creative and Do the Math
These are just a few ways you can improve your
chances of a successful negotiation. Combine
various tactics to customize each sales approach.
Also, keep in mind that even seemingly small
negotiations can have a substantial effect on your
For example, a $10 million company that
improves its gross profit by just two points
through better negotiating will see a $200,000
increase to its bottom line. It’s well worth
the effort—and after mastering the fine
art of negotiation, implementing sticky sales
strategies won’t seem like much effort at all. n
Tom Erb is president of Tallann Resources, a
staffing industry consulting firm. He is also president of the Ohio Staffing and Search Association, an
ASA-affiliated chapter. Send your feedback on this
article to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow ASA
on Twitter @staffingtweets.
Spend more time losing golf balls, and less time losing REQs.