Negotiation is give and take, but if you remember the basics, you’ll have much more flexibility to give the customer your best work, and more of it.

  1. If the only answer you’ll accept is a yes, you’ll be working too hard. NO’s are fantastic…they allow us to keep our good energy and keep moving, rather than the slow torture of a sales exercise that leads nowhere!
  2. If you give people your product before they pay for it, you’re working for free. A small sample is great, but giving away the recipe before the cake is ordered will put us out of business fast. Yet many of us do just that with comps, extensive proposals, presentations, and other giveaways of our livelihood that eat up all of our time. A little should go a long way in this area — if the customer wants you to do the work before they buy, work on the relationship.
  3. If you don’t talk about money, someone else will set your price. If it’s difficult to talk about money, then work on trust first. When the customer trusts that you won’t overcharge them, and you trust that they want to give you the tools to do the job the way it should be done — it’s easy to talk about money.
  4. Contracts are a good thing. They test the assumptions we’ve formed during the sales process — they’re the best communication vehicle we have to get all the difficult topics out of the way before the work starts, not after. If you’re not sure what your customer is expecting to see in your contract — work on communication.

A new customer who really wants your product, a product that fits the need, and trust and communication — what more could you ask for? NOW it’s time to get to work and create a happy customer!