Last week, I wrote about how to approach influencers and those who might be able to help you get a leg up in whatever Houston Metro business development or venture you’d work on.

But what about an adversarial situation — i.e., one in which both partners are trying to get something?

Well, that’s negotiation, and it’s a key part of the business life. Weirdly, many of my Houston Metro small business owner clients don’t realize how much MORE they could negotiate themselves into more favorable positions with vendors, clients and other intersectors of their business.

So, allow this week’s Note to give you a little bump to consider negotiating for more than just a car price.

Six Key Negotiation Skills For Doing Business In Houston Metro
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

No matter what industry you’re in, or how far you go in your career, possessing effective negotiation skills can make the difference between success and mediocrity.

Whether it’s a multimillion-dollar contract, a job offer, or a luncheon, here are some trenches-tested principles that will bring you closer to your ideal outcome:

1. Know what you want in advance. Don’t go to the table without a clear, realistic idea of what you want to achieve. It will help you negotiate with confidence.

2. Ask for what you want. Don’t be afraid to make the first offer. You’ll set the tone for the discussion, and studies (and my experience) suggest that the negotiator who goes first usually comes closer to getting what he or she wants.

3. Understand what your partner wants. A successful negotiation should satisfy both sides. Instead of trying to crush your competition, find out what he or she hopes to get, and try to work together toward a solution that works for you both.

4. Don’t concede unilaterally. Usually one side or the other has to give something up. If you do that, be sure to get a comparable concession from the other person. Giving away something for nothing will be taken as a weakness to be exploited.

5. Don’t rush. Time can be your friend if you’re willing to wait for the right deal. If the other side senses a deadline, he or she may be motivated to hold out until the last minute, or try to force you into accepting unreasonable terms. Be patient and let the time pressure work against your partner.

6. Be ready to walk away. This can take a certain amount of courage, but it’s necessary to avoid being backed into an agreement you don’t want. If possible, keep an ally in reserve–someone with the power to approve or reject the deal. This can give you an out if you need to turn down a deal, or motivate the other side to provide you with a better offer.


Scott Terry
(281) 246-4420

TST Accounting, LLC

Feel very free to forward this article to a Houston Metro business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Houston Metro families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.