This week, I took part in a panel discussion for women business owners, and there was a topic that came up briefly that I want to explore.  In business, we are constantly weighing out requests and opportunities and deciding what is right to pursue.  Sometimes we can fall into a trap of saying yes when we should have said no, and often that happens because we are thinking that we NEED to say yes.  Let’s talk about the impact of desperation on your negotiations, because there is indeed an impact.

First of all, you may be wondering why this subject is coming up in a “Marketing Tip of the Week.”  To me, negotiation is a natural step of the processes of marketing and sales.  Marketing is sharing your message to a wider audience, and as you start to get into one-on-one conversations with prospects you slip into sales mode.  In both of these stages, we are introducing what we ultimately hope will be a negotiation leading to a win-win outcome.

When we market our businesses from a place of desperation, there is an urgency that comes across in our message.  It is palpable.   Whenever desperation becomes part of the equation, it puts the other person in a position of power.

Whenever desperation becomes part of the equation, it puts the other person in a position of power. #business #negotiating #smb Click To Tweet

Once you lose power, you have a much bigger challenge to get to a place where the result will be good for you.  It could be that you cave in and say yes to a client that isn’t the right fit.  It could be that you say yes to a lesser value for your products or services than you deserve.

So, how do you prevent appearing weak or desperate?  You have to project confidence.

Now we arrive at the tricky part.  There are a lot of times in our businesses when we are actually NOT confident.  When we are doubting ourselves.  When finances are tight.  When unexpected responsibilities come up that require time or money we didn’t plan for.

In the beginning of your business, that could be every day.  As the business gets steadier, you’ll feel more secure on the whole, but there will still be dips.

You will not always be confident.  And in those moments, you have to dig deep and pretend you are.  Imagine you are coming from a place of abundance or security.  Ask yourself what type of decision you would make if your time were a precious commodity.  If you only had room for one more client because your calendar was full.  If your business were thriving and you had to be selective about who you worked with to stay on brand.

Imagine you are coming from a place of abundance or security. #business #negotiating #smb #smallbiz #smallbusiness Click To Tweet

When you feel the desperation creep in and you know you are about to pick up the phone and make an important call or write an important email, spend ten minutes consciously convincing yourself that you are coming from a position of strength.

When I teach businesses about marketing psychology, we talk about the many ways that subliminal messages can factor into your message.  Color, shape, and images can add layers to visuals.  In the same way, tone of voice layers into your words.  You might not even know that you’re doing it, but it is impacting the conversation.  At the times when you feel desperate, it is seeping into everything you say and do…unless you work to change your mindset.

I will be the first person to tell you that it is easier for me to tap into anxiety than hope, and I can live in a space of anxiety all day long.  But I have noticed that in some of the greatest opportunities I have cultivated, a happenstance moment of hope preceded an important negotiation, and led me to be bolder and more confident.  The results were usually better for me.

Is this an easy thing to do?  No.  It’s not.  But this is a practice you can train yourself to do, and the difference it can make for you in the outcome of your negotiations can help you climb upward from fake confidence to actual confidence!  So, don’t let desperation creep into your negotiations.  Do what you have to do to come from a position of strength so you can invite what you really deserve and what is really relevant into your business!

For more tips on successful negotiating, check out this blog.