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Negotiations in the Translation World

August 16, 2011 1 Comment »

As an account manager at Spanish Translations US, negotiating and finding a way to satisfy both parties, is part of my daily routine. Negotiations can get confusing, so here are 8 key strategies that will greaten your chances of success.

 

  • Prepare the number of variables you can work with during the negotiation. On one side, a walkway is always needed: a combination of price, terms, and deliverables that represents the least you will accept. On the other side, the more options you have to offer, the better your chances of closing the sale.

 

  • When under attack by a client, just listen and gather as much information as possible. In a world of information asymmetry, excelling in information management is a must.

 

  • Make a list of the issues requiring discussion.

 

  • Leave the hardest issue for last. Don’t think of this as procrastinating. Quite the opposite, think that it would be suicidal to stir things up by starting with the hardest one.

 

  • Focus on your customers’ interest and not just on your own.

 

  • Commit to a solution only after it’s certain to work for both parties.

 

  • Start high and go down slowly. Even though it might sound like a Persian market strategy, truth is that people feel satisfied when the opponent seems to give in and do his best to meet them halfway.

 

  • Clients sometimes use emotion…in most cases this emotion is anger, to rumble sales reps into making concessions they otherwise would just not make.  Do not be trapped by this emotional tactic. No wonder why some gurus think that negotiation is sort of a performing art: The different actors playing different roles throughout the process.

 

Following these key strategies will help you to keep opening new doors, instead of closing them.  A great piece to read on this subject is “Negotiating with a Customer You Can’t Afford to Lose” by Thomas C. Keiser from HBR NOVEMBER–DECEMBER 1988.

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