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How Successful Business Women Negotiate Contracts

Kymeshia Morris

Kymeshia Morris

How Successful Business Women Negotiate Contracts
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Being a kick-butt businesswoman is not easy, but being a successful negotiator is.  It also can be fun, if you follow these effective and time-tested tips for negotiation.

Be Strategic

The fact is that to produce a successful business deal that allows both sides to leave satisfied, concessions must be made.  But the savvy businesswoman knows how to anticipate or even control those concessions.  One way is to pepper a proposal with extra amenities that you don’t mind giving up.  This age-old strategy of deflection will give your negotiating partner the idea that eliminating these items will cut their costs, meanwhile keeping their attention away from key contract details you want to remain intact.

Be In Control

This probably goes without saying, but never give away your end game.  Keep your actual budget close to chest.  This classic bargaining technique allows you to make your first offer bold and aggressive.  Another subtle way to take the reins is to set the time and place of the meetings.  While this may not directly influence agreement terms, it sets you apart as someone who can make decisions.  She who controls the discussion controls the terms.  Also, ask questions.  Instead of arguing with a condition, ask how they came up with that figure.  This will provide insight into what the other party values most and create a positive tone.  Creating a feeling of collaboration boosts your authority and keeps things moving in the right direction.

Be Bold

Most entrepreneurs agree that business and emotions don’t mix.  But being a successful businesswoman does not preclude you from emotions.  It only requires that you conquer them. If you feel uncertain or taken advantage of during a negotiation, turn the tables around by focusing on the facts.  Instead of saying, “I believe that price is just too low for me to accept,” say “By accepting that type of bid, the project quality will suffer.”  Or you could say something like, “All I am doing is sticking to current market standards.”  By citing industry norms or the effects of the bid on the value of the product or service they will receive, you put the ball in their court to explain why they would expect you to make such an exception.

Be Resourceful

Involving members of your team in your negotiation may seem like more work at first, but it will save you time and money in the end.  Eventually, you will have to give something up or be willing to provide an unexpected product or service.  Knowing what you can sacrifice ahead of time will save you time during negotiations and ensure that a deal is made.  To do this, meet with your team ahead of time to gauge what kind of concessions are reasonable and which are deal-breakers.  When you sit down at the contract table, your confidence and the solidarity of your team will not go unnoticed, which will give you more of a bargaining edge.

  1. Tammy Kling 3 years ago

    Brilliant advice and strategy. Being in control and confident about the things that are least important when negotiating is a huge way to influence the outcome of contract negotiations. Keeping a clear head and having a plan in the beginning is the key and you amplified it here.

  2. Kymeshia Morris 3 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback Tammy. I completely agree! Control and confidence is key!