What are the two ways to increase the bottom line in your business? Yep, you guessed it — increase profits or reduce expenses. And one of the best ways to do either one of those is to be an expert at the negotiation table.
Even a small increase of one percent in profits can add up over the long term. So can a one percent decrease in expenses.
But to make that happen in your business, you need to learn to be quiet. We all talk too much. Especially when we’re in the negotiating process. And that can cause you to leave a lot of money on the table.
Let’s say you’re negotiating a contract to provide services for a client. You have a number in mind that you’d be willing to do the work for. The client offers you exactly that amount. Do you take it? No. Your next step should be to ask a simple question and then be perfectly silent.
The same goes for negotiations with your vendors. Even if they provide you with a number that is in your ballpark, asking one simple question could get you a better deal.
So what’s the question? Well it varies depending on your style and who you are negotiating with, but I’ll offer up a few variations here.
- That seems kind of low (high) to me.
- Is there any wiggle room in that?
- Can you help me out here?
Yes, it’s that simple. But the key is to remain totally silent after you ask the question. Will it always work? No. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Try it.
What about you? Do you have a special negotiating tactic that’s worked for you over time? Leave me a comment.