If you are about to begin a contract negotiation with a much larger business and feel intimidated, and are unsure of your strategy, here are some tips that should help you.
- Where the other party has greater resources, it’s important to be realistic about the ways in which you can offer your goods or services so as to beat your competitors. Be strategic but never defensive.
- Assuming that some of your production costs are higher than those of your larger competitors, can you reduce other costs to maintain a sustainable profit margin?
- If not, are you able to to produce and deliver more quickly if your production cycle is shorter due to a smaller number of orders in process. Delivery times may be more significant to the other party than price alone. In any negotiation the other party will tell you what it needs and wants.
- Always accentuate the positive by concentrating on your comparative advantages. Don’t dwell on your disadvantages. Nothing is more off putting than negativity.
- If you operate a smaller business and directly control production, stress your availability to to deal with any issues that may arise requiring your immediate attention. Remember that largeness is not always an advantage especially if the other party really needs your personal attention and wants to avoid buffers.