10 Tricky Client Negotiating Strategies for Consultants

Sales Tips

Negotiation for ConsultantsPost by Davis Miller

Most consultants are used to attending business negotiations, taking into account that their job requires bargaining skills. Their goal is to create very effective strategies for their customers, including strategy development, negotiation execution, and project management. However, tricky negotiation strategies need to be used every now and then, especially if you want to reach an agreement that works in your favor. This doesn’t give you the right to take advantage of the situation, as it only means that you must act wisely. Consultants are specialists in a specific field, and they use negotiation strategies to get things done on a daily basis. Are they real professionals or they’re just skilled negotiators who know how to turn deals in their favor?

1.     Think of your position before entering a negotiation table

Do you know what you want? Prior to taking a seat at the negotiation table, make sure that you know your position. Express your goals clearly and be confident everything will turn out in your favor. Be ready to ask the right questions during the process of discovery, instead of improvising different responses in emails and calls. If you negotiate from a well-thought position, the other party will begin to show more confidence and they will accept your terms.

2.     Make sure that your position is realistic

It’s obvious that the negotiation for an Aston Martin and three million dollars is difficult. However, you should keep your position realistic; as long as you present an accurate estimate for that project and your pricing is supported by logical arguments, you shouldn’t fear things might go south.

3.     Don’t be the first to accept the agreement

Whenever you discuss action steps, try to postpone accepting an agreement first. Try not to say ‘yes’ on matters related to scope management and schedule, or to other action steps required contractually until you are given the chance to review everything with your team. Ensure that the goals of your team are similar to the ones of your client. Simply put, don’t make any commitment without having consulted your partners.

4.     Dissect every single aspect of a negotiation

Every negotiator bargains differently. For example, some of them choose to state in every review that things can be improved. As a result, the other party can start to increase the project scope in order to cover the lack of quality mentioned by the other negotiators. This tactic is used by consultants extremely often when they’re trying to get a deal to end in their favor. Therefore, you should be ready to handle such nuances that may appear within negotiations.

5.     Don’t rush into agreeing with the needs of your clients

When the stake is high, you are advised to take your time and analyze every little aspect in detail. The longer the amount of time you spend to negotiate, the easier it will be to present your settling point. However, think before you act. Never rush on the phone to accept an offer. People you negotiate with will believe that they can turn the situation in their favor. These situations are extremely hard to manage by consultants, as they love to solve any problem as soon as possible.

6.     Try to carry a humane, honest and respectful conversation

Whenever you attend a negotiation with your boss or with your clients, make sure that your conversation isn’t based on scenarios such as “us vs. them”. Your co-workers and clients have the same needs, and once you put yourself in their shoes you will manage to strengthen your working relationship. Besides, your expectations will be fulfilled regardless of what takes place at work.

7.     Be ready to leave the negotiation table

Don’t avoid walking away from a negotiation table if you think that a proposed deal is not what you’re looking for. The ability to say ‘no’ is very important in contract negotiations, and the natural desire to stay away from conflicts is something that every customer will like to exploit. This means that saying ‘no’ can be rather natural from time to time.

8.     Don’t take failed negotiations personally

If you can’t reach an agreement because it wasn’t right for your client or because they didn’t like a certain aspect, you should learn from that experience and try to move on. Never allow your conscience to judge you, and try to analyze your failure so that you can avoid it in the future.

9.     Failures can lead to future gains

The relationship between you and your counterparts will continue even if you don’t manage to reach an agreement from the first time. If you are truthful and cordial about your position, you will gain respect throughout the whole negotiation process.

10.  Making concessions

Are you ready to compromise? Sometimes, to reach an agreement and close a deal you may have to make concessions. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to give up everything. Ask the other party to sacrifice some of their requirements as well. The end result is a win-win solution that could come with great benefits in the future.

Consultants are great at bargaining, and they often get what they want in a negotiation. Still, this doesn’t mean they’re all good. Unlike other types of negotiators, consultants should mold their techniques; they should warp them up beautifully and convince the other party they’ve made the best decision.

Author Bio: Davis Miller, a professional blogger and content writer, has shared this post. He has a site http://www.thegappartnership.us/  related to negotiation workshops for professional development. He loves talking and blogging about business and negotiation tips and techniques.

Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.

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