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Small Consultancy Firms: How to Negotiate Business Deals

Aug 17, 2007
Small consultancy firms generally find difficulty in raising revenues, particularly in the initial stages of the business. Sound business planning and dedicated work are the only ways to make a success of their business. Moreover, running a successful consultancy firm also involves being able to negotiate business contracts.

Ways to Negotiate Business Deals Successfully:

. Success: Success is the ultimate goal of every negotiation, as an unsuccessful negotiation means a sheer waste of time, energy, funds and resources, which most businesses cannot afford. So it is important to understand the point of view of the other party and allow some flexibility, but without changing your stance entirely.

. Focus: Concentrate on specific matters and avoid meandering through unnecessary topics. Always discuss the core issue and strike a good business deal. The side issues can be discussed at a later stage.

. Flexibility: Try to maintain flexibility when you negotiate, so that the viewpoint of each participating party can be accommodated. Each party should shift its stance a little and try to come to a consensus, thereby making the negotiation successful. You should never drive a deal so hard that there is no room for the other party to maneuver.

. Hire a consultant: You can even hire a business advisor or consultant for small business firms. He or she will help you to understand the negotiation strategies necessary for small consultancy firms.

. Ego: Never allow your ego to come in the way while negotiating issues. Each party should realize that it is not a battle that has to be won willy-nilly. Neither is it about compelling the other party to agree to all the terms and conditions. In fact, negotiating a successful deal is about it being beneficial for all parties concerned.

. Live up to your commitment: Always keep the promises you make on the negotiating table, without backtracking later. Not living up to your commitments will lead to a loss of goodwill, and you may also be blacklisted by other potential clients.

. Never allow preconceived plans stop you: Usually, people chalk out a strategy for negotiation before actually sitting down to negotiate. However, allowance must be made to alter the plan in order to achieve a positive outcome.

. Body language: Words are not the only means of communication. Observe the body language of the negotiators to gauge their reaction to your proposals. This will help you make proposals that may be difficult for them to articulate clearly.

. Sincerity: Sincerity forms the basis of successful negotiation. Once the other party gets to know about your insincere attitude towards the deal, there is not much chance that it will go through. Thus, not only will you lose good will but also further business.

. Keep alternative strategies: Always keep alternative options ready in case you feel the planned strategy might not work as per your expectation.

These are a few strategies that you can utilize to negotiate a business deal. Always keep in mind the importance of flexibility, and not losing good will. Small businesses, especially, are highly dependent on cooperation for success. As mentioned earlier, engaging the expertise of a small business advisor is one of the best ways to get to know more about the strategies of negotiating successfully.
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