Once in a blue moon a consulting prospect will sign a proposal without asking for any changes or concessions. When the moon is white, yellow, green or invisible to the eye, you’ll probably have to negotiate to win the project. Below, in their barest form, are 15 best practices that will help you close more projects at higher values with more clients.
15 Negotiation Best Practices for Consultants
1. Believe in your own value.
2. Walk in knowing you’re willing to walk away.
3. Always negotiate with the decision maker.
4. Get all objections on the table before you respond to any of them.
5. Fully understand the objection before responding.
6. Start with the easiest objections then move to the hardest.
7. Be prepared for common objections.
8. Defend your prospect’s point of view first.
9. Be prepared with smart trades that add value for the client and you.
10. Protect the project’s requirements for success.
11. Start with the highest value and negotiate down.
12. Keep reductions in fees commensurate with reductions in value.
13. Never give different pricing to different parts of the same organization.
14. Don’t sacrifice business for “negotiation best practices.”
15. …what do you think?
I had a few more best practices in mind, but I want to hear from you to fill out the list. What best practice(s) do you always keep in mind when negotiating with a consulting prospect to win a project?
Add your ideas and experiences in the comments section below, and I’ll write back!
You may also enjoy these related articles:
Negotiation Best Practices (a couple of practices explored in more depth)
Text and images are © 2021 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.