Episode 114: 6 Tips To Being A Better Negotiator

Negotiating. It doesn’t come easy to everyone. But as a business owner, and even in your every day life, you will find that great negotiation skills can come in handy. Don’t get caught off guard. Listen to our podcast and learn 6 ways that you can improve your negotiation skills to get more for yourself and your business!

Roger: Hello and welcome to Local SEO Today, I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: We wanna welcome you today to our podcast. We wanna speak to business owners and really entrepreneurs on the topic, John, of negotiating. Really in life everything is negotiation. Whether you negotiate with your child, your spouse, your significant other, buying a car

John: Any product or services

Roger: And really there are some tips and some tricks that we really can speak to in terms of how to get a better outcome of the negotiation.

John: Yeah so today we’re gonna speak on six of the most, I guess, important negotiation tactics to really better yourself, right? And the first thing we’re gonna talk about is really putting yourself in the shoes of that person that you’re trying to get that service or product from, right? So really putting yourself in their shoes and really understanding what are they after.

Roger: Exactly. Certainly be empathetic, because they’ve got a need and if you have a service, really trying to understand what’s important to them.

John: Yeah, and really figure out what they’re looking for, right? Is it a better quality, is it a better service, is it the price? Like figure out what is their actual, you know, outcome. Why are they in this negotiating process in the first place?

Roger: In little things you do is ask even—what was your experience before? Who was your provider before? Whether it was services, whether it was product, find out what is their happenings, so to speak, what how did they let down or what went well before, right?

John: Exactly. What did they like the best, what are they looking for, and why didn’t it worked out, right? And see if that’s in alignment with what you’re able to offer or provide.

Roger: Exactly, because it is true, most people, I think, I’ve seen the surveys just recently, the number one thing, the first thing people ask about in negotiation is how much. And really it shouldn’t be about how much and that’s why, you, as a negotiator, you’re in as a business owner. If you’re offering air conditioning services, or plumbing services, whatever, real estate services, really uncover what they’re, what are they, what their needs are right now.

John: Exactly. So first, you ask the questions, align yourself. But the second thing to really consider is try to be the first one to make that offer. Instead of waiting for them to ask for a price, start with an offer and make sure the offer is higher than your best price, right?

Roger: You got a wiggle room.

John: Wiggle room, that’s right.

Roger: Never go with your rock bottom. Everyone knows in life no matter where you go in the world and negotiating, that’s part of the culture. You’re expected to negotiate, you always, the price always starts up here and you work your way down to somewhere in the middle.

John: Yeah and you know, it’s a great example. We were actually in Asia this past year, and we will go to a flea market. And flea markets, it’s all about negotiations, and you know, you never go with the first price. You know the prices are at least 50% off.

Roger: That’s right.

John: So that’s a whole, different cultures or different place. You know when you’re in that environment, you know negotiation is a part of buying a product.

Roger: That’s true. And when you’re on the, let’s say the other side, actually either side of the negotiation, know what your walk away is. And it’s a matter of value your service, your product, whatever you’re offering, have a set of, I guess details around the offer didn’t work for you and here’s what your expectations are, whether it’s pricing, billing, the service quality, whatever it is, know what your expectations are and halt your principle so to speak.

John: Yeah and know what your bottomline class are, right? So know what kind of margins you wanna play with and depending on what kind of day it is or week or month if you have quotas, you need to hit them, right? The third thing is really contrasting good option with the bad option. So if you think about it, you should give different options, right? Never just stick with one outcome and price, or one product or service like have different options.

Roger: And the idea there is that in negotiation, you have, you get what you pay for and like that is true so if you go with low price only, something has to give there. So when you talk about super low price means super low quality, super low turn-around, really you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Versus a good price that’s fair price, it has good value behind it because you get all the different things you’re offering in your negotiation. But offer, offer, give them, listen, here’s good and here’s what happens if you don’t, so you get a second choice.

John: Yeah and even if it is, you know, all those things but also education, your time, what is that worth, right? If you’re giving up something, maybe it is that education piece is worth, right? Because you position yourself as the expert so that’s why people pay a premium for lawyers or going to a professional, right? They bill by the hour, right? So their time and really, you know, figure out what you want at the end before you even start, right? So what are you going in this with like and figure out why you wanna do this whole process in the first place.

Roger: Exactly. I remember I had a client years ago, that’s, it was just the economy was a certain way at that time, prices were depressed for his type of service, it was actually a trucking company. He said it’s not even worth my time to move my vehicles for those prices and I refuse to do that so he knew ahead of time, I’m not gonna put my equipment in there just to trade dollars to keep these trucks moving. It’s not even worth my time. So know ahead of time. To your point, John, what’s your bottomline in terms of I’m running a business, I’ve got profit loss, I’ve got expenses, know, here’s what I need in any deal before I even wanna negotiate?

John: But in the other end of things, there’s also variable costs and fixed costs so depending on the season. You know, when you’re gonna bid a lot of money and if you want to just keep your employees employed during the slow period, you’ll take on any job even if that means a little bit of a loss because you know during the cycle of when it’s busy that’s when you made the most. You’re gonna make sure your staff is loyal to you and they’re employed throughout the year.

Roger: Exactly. You know it’s a very good point there because, I think, in the big scheme of things, that’s knowing ahead of time what you need or what you want and that might be, it’s your point, I need, the slow times of the year I need to keep my staff with me. So, therefore, I wanna keep them busy even though I’m not, you know, making a ton of profit. I’m keeping them engaged, loyal.

John: Loyal, exactly. And I think the last thing we wanna talk, touch upon is, you know, in the negotiation process, it’s very difficult to know how their reaction is unless you meet them in person.

Roger: Yeah, face-to-face.

John: Face-to-face, because you know, via email, via phone, via web conference, it’s not the same because there’s nuances when you’re meeting someone in person to see, you know, eye contact, dress to impress, there’s subtle gestures, things that you can actually pick out as a sales person. So to negotiate in person, you’re definitely gonna have an advantage over someone that’s just trying to sell someone over the phone.

Roger: One of the statistics we saw was in-person, you have a 34% chance, higher chance of closing deals, so just think about that. And I know in our world, in many businesses, people are just, they’re emailing, they’re texting by phone, they don’t want to particularly meet in person. That doesn’t serve you and your business. If you’ve got a value to show them and educate them in person, you build a relationship, they understand, they, you know, as you’re saying John, as you say, you can sense how do the conversation’s going, see what’s important to them, and again you have a—almost a third higher chance of getting the deal when you’re face-to-face.

John: So I think in-person makes sense for a higher ticket consulting service type business. It’s a little bit, you know, if your product it’s really price, right? Because anyone can surf around online and plays around, shop around but if, you know, in terms of negotiation, if you have the ability to meet them and they are within driving distance or whatever it may be, make sure you present yourself well, spend that extra time, meet with them and make sure because they’re gonna feel loved, they’re gonna feel like you took that extra time to meet with me.

Roger: Exactly.

John: And they will reward you at the end.

Roger: And in personal experience, in our business, in our world of optimization for Google, I have many clients surprised that Oh, you’ll come and see me because most people in this business, in this industry, they just wanna do by email and share a screen, etc. They don’t even wanna leave their little office. So the idea, if you have a business and have, it’s in your business model to get face-to-face, it’s way way better and it provides—it just shows you’re, you’re serious about your business.

John: Well thanks a lot Roger, it’s a very good example.

Roger: John, thank you for your time. Well , thank you for watching us today. We’ll see you again at Local SEO.