Negotiation is a key skill that can help you save a lot of money regularly. Unfortunately, most people have little or no negotiation skills at all. This leaves them susceptible to massive bills when incurring professional services. To start with, it’s important to understand that negotiations aren’t all about money. Negotiation has everything to do with the perceived value and total cost of ownership. It can’t be seen as a competition between two parties. Below are 5 negotiation tips that you can use to negotiate for professional services.

  • Make a plan – to have the higher ground during a negotiation, you need to have come up with a plan. The better the plan you have, the better the likely outcome. What is your objective? Who will be involved? If you’re negotiating with a local town plumber or a real estate dealer, it helps if you already know them. Your plan should also include what should happen if at all there’s a deadlock. More so, list points that you can use to escalate authority to others in case you feel that you need time to think about everything after negotiating.
  • What’s your price – in your own opinion, what do you feel would be a fair price for the work you need to be done? This is an important question that gives perspective to your negotiation stance. Take to the internet to conduct some quick research and find out what others usually pay for the same or similar service. It also helps to do a bit of background research about the service provider (supplier). Maybe they have time constraints that may play into the pricing, or perhaps offer certain discounts to customers who meet specific criteria. If so, you could raise these points during the negotiations. When thinking about the price, pay consideration to the entire cost of ownership, including such hidden costs such as delivery, additional users, warranties, etc. If you’re be required to pay extra sometimes in the future, you’d rather know now.
  • Make concessions – your vendor will obviously want something in return in order to give a huge discount or reduced pricing. Think about what you’re ready to offer in return? Maybe you could provide beneficial feedback on their website, or do a case study of their service. Perhaps a longer subscription period is something they’d like to hear about. Just get your ideas together regarding what you could be able to offer to get a great deal.
  • Aim high – according to research, those who aim high during negotiations often get a better deal compared to those who have low expectations. As it happens, if you don’t ask you don’t get.
  • Review your relationships – if you’ve been someone’s customer for 15 years, don’t let that discourage you from being an avid negotiator. Think about who is benefiting more from the relationship. Maybe if you reviewed your existing relationships, you could unlock better deals from both parties. When negotiating, the point is to get the best deal you can for yourself, and nothing should deter you from that.

Although listed for professional services negotiations, these services can also be applied to just about anything else, including physical products.