Negotiation Tips: Being Prepared to …..

Here is a Negotiation Tip that far too many people ignore.

Be prepared to negotiate

It might seem obvious but unless you are prepared to negotiate you are going to miss out on business.  At this stage of the process, when I ask,  far too many providers say they have a fixed price list and can’t negotiate .. if I remain silent for a while they fill the pause with explanations about funding issues, margins, and lots of other woffle.

The reality is we should always be prepared to negotiate.

If I were to say to you I’ve seen that you run macrame classes at £x, how much would you charge for 20 places, you would be mad to quote a price and say you don’t negotiate.

It might be you aren’t willing to reduce the price  .. … but that isn’t the same as not negotiating.

You should start by asking me for more details as it might be that what you can negotiate on is not the price but the location (in house delivery will save my clients money), delivery date (do it out of term and employ a part time member of staff; that will reduce your costs and make you more flexible to work with),  check if I want branded supporting paperwork .. there are dozens of variables that can be negotiated.  Get these right and the price is immaterial.

Some people are too shy to talk about money. Others think it’s rude or demeaning. And in many cases they’re right. However, when it comes to doing a deal – and we all have to sometimes – being unwilling to engage in “money-talk” can be a very expensive business.

There are a lot of experienced negotiators out there. If you’re buying a house or a car, or taking a new job, you can be sure you’ll have to deal with such a person. If they can see you’re timid about the whole business, many will take advantage of that fact.

Let’s think outside of the FE world for  a moment.

If I’m looking to buy an expensive item, I’ll often ask them to throw something in for free or reduce the price.   Often I’m told it can’t be done so I ask to speak to a manager. That often releases a flurry of options.

Remember, just because there’s no sign saying they negotiate doesn’t mean they don’t.  Often, simply by asking for something extra I get a better deal.  For example I’ll say I want to buy xyz with the usual education discount. I’ve no idea what they normally offer to education establishments, but quite often I’m then automatically offered a 10-20% discount.

So, when I negotiate training for my clients I expect some flexibility .. and so do many employers.  If providers can’t provide it ……. or aren’t prepared to negotiate, they shouldn’t be surprised if they lose the deal.

So when someone asks for  a discount .. don’t say NO .. listen to your customers needs then reply with a counter offer.  It could well be that the counter offer is actually more profitable than your original figure.