If you are in a service based industry then knowing how to negotiate will be your best asset. You are going to go through stages of negotiating with new clients, negotiating renewals, and then knowing how to cut a client off. While negotiating with new clients is going to be different from negotiating a renewal service contract- they both require the same tactics.
What are these tactics? Keep reading.
1. Say no to discount requests at the 11th hour. If a client can't afford your services after you went through meetings, contracts, built in signing incentives, etc. then you don't want this client. 11th hour discount requests are a way for the client to double check that they are getting the best rate possible. If you move forward with this request it can actually be a deal breaker. Stand your ground. If the client really doesn't sign because you didn't give a deep discount at the very last minuet then count your blessings because that client had ill intentions and no money.
2. Don't stretch out meetings and don't agree to stretched out meetings. If a client contacts you for a proposal now and then replies with a "let's discuss this next month" then don't negotiate any further. Someday is not a day of the week. A week to review and negotiate a contract is plenty of time to get a ball rolling. If a client requests more time, he or she is trying to use your bid to obtain another contracted. Don't allow stretched out meetings and long delays to become a negotiating tactic.
3. Don't agree to fulfill an unreasonable request to obtain the contract. You will be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, negotiate a discount based on the unreasonable request. For example, tell the prospect client you can't fulfill the request and why. And then offer a small discount so the client can hire another contractor to fulfill the request.
Negotiating can be stressful. Remember these tactics and DO NOT cave. If clients can't pay or have unreasonable requests, don't count them as clients. Move on.