Lessons Learned: Why Negotiation Can Destroy a Good Deal!

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Lessons from 2018 Business Deals

I learned some valuable business lessons this last year, as we wrapped up 2018.

If you are a small business or an aspiring small business/ entrepreneur, then this could help you greatly!

If you are a Service Provider, pick your service; me for example, I do Digital Marketing. That’s what I am going to be doing for the next foreseeable future, as I’m DAMN GOOD at what I do!

If you are a provider of a service, these bullet points are SO VALUABLE! I paid the hard way, but you get it for FREE!

Rules to Sell By:

  1. Know your value – this comes from RESULTS. If you have done the thing you are selling for some time, then take confidence in the work you do.
  2. Know your weakness – this is your bottleneck! A bottleneck is not something to freak out over; rather, it’s where you need to be FOCUSED! FOCUS + EXECUTION = DELIVERY! (remember that formula!
  3. DONT LET YOUR CLIENT CALL YOUR SHOTS! – This one has burned me FAR TOO MANY TIMES! For example, I have had several clients try to negotiate me based on price. Price is always something you should be flexible on, in any business, HOWEVER – SEE AND UNDERSTAND RULE #1!

3.a I have on several occasions accepted a counter negotiation in the “name of the deal.” Each time, I knew that the price negotiated would not serve the client or me, but I thought I could navigate around the negotiation.

The funny thing is that the client would never negotiate their services as low as they negotiated me.

By taking the deal, I inadvertently screwed us both. The negotiated price, in EVERY SCENARIO, wasn’t enough to fulfill the terms of the agreement, and it wasn’t enough to make me happy as a provider.

3b. For future deals, I will give my offer, and the client can take it or leave it. I’m laser-focused on what I’m doing. I have results to back me up, and I have YEARS of experience in my field, so I’m extremely confident in both my pricing and performance ability.

3c. If you have a service you perform, and you REALLY understand it, stick to your guns. I personally want to provide the ABSOLUTE GREATEST SERVICE I CAN.

3d. Don’t fall for the competitive tricks; i.e., “ABC COMPANY can do it cheaper,” or, “My buddy had xyz results…” – These are tricks of the trade used to negotiate a lower price. The thing about what I provide; is IT WORKS!

Clients who are good clients see EXTREMELY good ROI from a completed campaign, any from 6X-10X PLUS! I have the results to back that statement!

4. BE READY TO WALK AWAY FROM A DEAL – that doesn’t perform the way you think it should. For example, the client tries to negotiate you hard, and they WILL NOT BUDGE! Like, nothing you say or do can get them to accept your deal.

4a. – 1. They Don’t see your value of what you’re offering.
         2. You’re not showing them the value.
         3. They just don’t get it.

One of the above statements, or all of them, is true, and you either need to explain your value better, or be willing to walk away!

As a small business owner, you need to be careful with these. These are very tricky, and you could lose deals if you follow my instructions half-heartedly.

What you need to learn how to do, is define “your perfect client” and go find prospects who meet that criteria!

5. I THINK IT’S THE MOST ETHICAL THING – to walk away from a deal that is not going to work for you and your client mutually. Sometimes two people aren’t a good fit!

5a. Don’t force a square peg into a round hole.
5b. Both parties will benefit from avoiding a conflicted relationship.

6.The clients who don’t overly-negotiate are the best clients – they will pay you, you will do the work, and all will be happy.

6a. There’s nothing wrong with negotiation. I respect a good negotiation! It’s the UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS of getting a “good deal” that often burn a “good deal.”

6b. You can have GOOD, you can have FAST, or you can have Cheap; but you can’t have all 3!

I would take GOOD at the end of any deal any day because remember the adage, “You get what you pay for!”


This post may sound negative, but it’s not! The biggest lesson of the day is learning to DESTROY UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS, and ESTABLISH REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS!

Knowing and understanding these two points will make you and your future clients so much more successful than not having this established! There is NOTHING WRONG with a negotiator. There is NOTHING WRONG with NOT NEGOTIATING.

Instead of being or seeing this as “adversarial” see it as an opportunity to establish realistic expectations.

I had a client I offered to do a job for $2,000 a month, and they wanted it for $1500! This job was in a competitive market, and I said NO to it. I said no after much of the pain you see in this message had been learned! I refuse to let my paying clients down ever, and I’ve learned that the only ones who LOSE, are the ones who don’t pay properly.

This particular client could have gained anywhere from $50k to $300k in monthly revenue from my efforts! I know FOR A FACT that those numbers are accurate – but they let go of that potential over $500 a month!

I just knew the market and knew my services, and I KNEW THAT I could not possibly perform for them properly at $1500 a month!

The 3 K’s

So the moral of this story: The 3 K’s:

Know your worth, Know your offer, and Know your clients’ needs.

If you REALLY CARE about your client and your own business, you will not let negotiation ruin a good deal!

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