Marketing Your Brand in a Negotiation

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Even in modern ecommerce business, the time may come when you need to participate in a negotiation or a mediation. This typically comes about when there is a dispute about a contract or an agreement, but it is also becoming more common with larger clients. Typically, when a client asks you if you would be willing to negotiate about your product or service, you will be dealing with a very large contract and tremendous possibilities. Negotiating can be an intimidating process to those who are not familiar with it. The key to negotiating with a potential client, however, is to never stop marketing.

Know Your Product and the Relevant Facts Cold

Marketing Your Brand in a Negotiation

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As basic as it sounds, the most important thing that you can do before you go into a negotiation is to make sure that you know all of the relevant facts about your product or service cold. This means that you can say them without having to exert much effort. They are a part of you. You don’t just know your business’s catch phrases. You know the stories behind them. You understand the value. You know what it is that you are trying to sell and why it is the best thing that this potential client could ever purchase from you. The relevant facts are more than just what your product or service is. It extends also to your competition. This includes confidential data as much as public data such as the information you might obtain from comparison shopping engines. Remember that while numbers are impressive, too many can make your client’s eyes glaze. Keep an eye out for this. Engaging anecdotes that demonstrate the value and relevancy of your product, on the other hand, are an excellent choice for most negotiations.

Understand What Negotiation Is Not

Understand What Negotiation Is Not

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Once you have completed your basic research, you must also understand what negotiation is not. Many business owners have preconceived ideas about what is going to happen in a negotiation. If it doesn’t go that way, it can be quite jarring. Understanding what negotiation is not often provides the best overview.

Negotiation is not about objective truth nor is it about searching for an equitable solution. It is about marketing and convincing the other side to agree with you. Negotiation is never just a friendly discussion even if both sides are chatting and sharing stories. Negotiation is not a search for the best solution for both sides. Negotiation is a tug of war. In most cases, you have a limited pool of resources, and both you and the other side is trying to get the best deal possible. Thus, while you may be looking for truth and discussing equitable solutions along with amiable chit chat, you must remember that at the end of the day, the person on the other side of the table does not have your best interests at heart. Being civil is still important as is being friendly in situations where you hope to establish a long lasting business relationship. Remember that lying is not permitted, but in most cases, there is no one there to enforce this. This means that you should always double check what you are told, though you should do this discreetly to not cause offense.

Have a Firm Understanding of Your Bargaining Position

Have a Firm Understanding of Your Bargaining Position

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When you sit down at the negotiation table, you need to have a clear understanding of your position. Know in advance who has the stronger position. If you are unsure, then assume that you are in the weaker one. Also consider how the other side is going to view itself and you. Regardless of the strength though, bear in mind what your limits are. Ask yourself what your bottom line is going to be and then stick with it. The bottom line is the most you can pay or the least you will pay based on your current situation. This is the point at which, if they are not willing to accommodate you, you will leave the table.

Understanding your bargaining position will protect your interests. It will also ensure that you know the time to go. Remember that no deal is better than a bad deal, and it is not uncommon for some negotiations to take several rounds before reaching a mutually agreeable decision. Always justify your position based on what your product and service does. Don’t be afraid to speak boldly about it. This is a marketing endeavor, not a search for perfect equity.

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