The Art of (Over) Negotiation
In an ever deteriorating economy, a world where nobody wants – or expects – to pay full price and money-saving gurus encourage us to haggle – and then haggle some more, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when the age-old notion of business negotiation reaches new heights – and we see clients pushing for just that little bit more. But can this eagerness to ‘go lower’ mean that the quality you eventually pay for drops too?
In business, it’s a universally acknowledged truth that a prospective client very rarely accepts the first price offered – and why should they? Making a business deal is a two-way street, both parties need to be happy with the offering and, with this in mind, negotiation is expected. From the earliest accounts of trading hundreds and hundreds of years ago, haggling, bartering and negotiation were common place and, I’m sure, the same will be true in the hundreds of years to come; it’s a natural, base instinct that shouldn’t be ignored – it helps us to get what we want.
However, problems begin to arise when there is that niggling need to keep pushing; that desire to knock just that little bit more off the price – to the extent where the quality of what you are (hesitantly) paying for is compromised. Think about it; the more a client pushes on a price, eventually, something’s gotta give; eventually, the contractor will have to start cutting corners to meet the client’s desired price and, ultimately, both parties will suffer; the client gets less-than-perfect results, and the contractor gets a less-than-perfect review.
This concept, of course, is relative to the situation; you don’t expect amazing quality when you pay £5.00 for a t-shirt – but, hey, it was only a fiver! You do, however, expect to feel like a million dollars when you have a suit made on Saville Row – but, should you start to push too far on the price of your suit, eventually, the thread will start to unravel. The same is true for business – you get what you pay for and, whilst negotiation will always come into play, it’s wise to consider just how low you want to go…
Over to you…What have been your experiences with business negotiation?