Negotiate like the big guys: how small and mid-size by Susan Onaitis

By Susan Onaitis

A well timed and entire source for winning deal-making.

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Speed and flexibility Small businesses are unencumbered by hierarchical levels that slow down decision making. Typically, small businesses can act quickly and make changes midstream without having to reinvent the process. Large corporations value the flexibility of small businesses and, therefore, in a negotiation, small business owners derive power from that flexibility. , the company that holds the Ernest Hemingway and Great Gatsby licenses. "We can offer more and move more Page 11 Forcing things that cannot be forced quickly than big companies," she says, citing an example of a cruise line that wanted to name the restaurant on a new ship the Gatsby Dining Room.

If you look at negotiating from small business owners' perspective, very often they need the business so badly that they don't feel like they are in a position to walk away from anything. They may often feel powerless in the face of the demands of current and potential customers, and may cave in because they feel the other party has all the power. projection. Where does the small business person's power in a negotiation really lie? That's the essential question. If you really need the business and can't afford to lose a deal, how can you avoid making concessions that will hurt you in the long run?

Sound familiar? There are still businesses that operate that way. You know the story. They teach and practice such gambits as: flinch when your opponent makes an offer, hold the person's feet to the fire whenever you can, always ask for more than you expect to get, look pained when the opposition makes a move, never be the first to put your price on the table, make a deliberate mistake then look like the hero when you correct it, use ultimatums and a take-it-or-leave it approach. The adversarial approach pits you against me.

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