People recommend dozens of negotiation tactics and styles all geared towards getting a deal in place. Investing time and effort into a contract only to leave it on the table can be extremely difficult.
The truth is that most negotiators won't secure every deal. You'll likely have sales that don't go through and that's not always because you chose the wrong style or tactics. Knowing when to walk away from a negotiation is just as important as knowing how to close a sale.
Sometimes Your Goals Aren't Achievable
Maybe you entered into a deal that you thought would be lucrative, only to discover that your vendor doesn't have the resources to meet your goals. You may discover that their offer is insufficient or that their demands are unrealistic for the size of your business. Sometimes these issues can be resolved, but you may also have to break off the deal and find another vendor whose expectations align with your own.
This possibility may seem scary, but it's actually a source of significant negotiating power. Some talented negotiators, in fact, start their negotiations with the possibility they may not take the final deal. Being okay with walking away can improve your confidence and discernment. Before you enter a negotiation, decide the minimum deal you are willing to accept and allow yourself to walk away if that minimum is not possible.
Sometimes Loss Is Inevitable
In some lost deals, you may come out with an understanding of what went wrong and how you can improve. That's incredibly valuable, but not every lost deal is the result of bad negotiation. There are some deals that were never going to work because of poor fit or timing. Refusing to hastily strike a mediocre deal may free you and your vendor to make a much better agreement in the future.
If you're wondering whether your misgivings about a deal are nerves or intuition, you can use contract presentation to help you make the decision. Getting the details of a contract in place - the spacing, the formatting, the language — can help you see the deal in the best possible light. You can combine PDFs into one file to organize and have all the information in one place. This may help you or your vendor resolve concerns or discover the problem. If you're still struggling with the contract in front of you, it may be time to seek out other vendors.
It's much easier to reconcile a lost sale if you already have workable alternatives in place. Deciding on your best alternative to a negotiated agreement before you conclude a deal can greatly improve your confidence and momentum after an unsuccessful negotiation.
Lost Negotiations Are Not Failures
When you decide to walk away from a losing negotiation, you have still sharpened and refined your bargaining skills. Even better, you've avoided the consequences of a bad agreement and opened yourself up to fresh opportunities. Not every negotiation will give you what you want, so flexibility and confidence are key. If you're looking to gain negotiation experience and make lucrative partnerships, one of your best resources is your local chamber of commerce.
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