Meet Me in the Middle: 5 Reasons to Negotiate for Compromise

Dina Giolitto

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Hate to negotiate? Think you have to be a trickster to land that contract? Think again. Here's why honesty is always the best policy, even when you're swinging those big biz deals.

1. Your future clients deserve a taste of what's to come.

If compromise and cooperation are the name of your game, make that clear from the get-go. . . even in the pre-contract negotiation phase. Be open about your expectations; present yourself accurately and realistically. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Your frankness will be rewarded.

2. You reap what you sow.

If you inflate your capabilities, you can bet it will come back to bite you in the hiney when you can't make good on your promises. Instead, be courteous to your future colleague and offer up-front honesty so that they can utilize every means to move the project forward.

2. Slippery people fall through the cracks.

"Slippery" negotiators not only say one thing when they mean another, but they're notorious for saying two different things at two different times. A savvy businessperson will be able to spot inconsistencies in your claims. . . especially now that email correspondence means an easy conversation trail. Deceptive speech and weak character won't be lost on a prospective client. Be forthright and above all, be consistent.

3. Contracts are born from a need for mutually beneficial relationships.

Never accept a work offer without first determining its relevance for you. Contracts, after all, stem from mutual need. If the person with whom you're negotiating can't offer something beneficial, such as career growth or great pay, why would you accept their conditions? Likewise, if you're not the person for the job, they deserve to know and will appreciate your clarity in the matter.

4. It's worth it to end the stalemate.

A stalemate can work in two ways. In one scenario, you've negotiated a price and your potential client has countered, arms are crossed and neither of you are budging. In the other case, maybe you can't even GET to the money conversation because you're each waiting for the other to make a move. Either way, someone has to step up to the plate and state the case from both angles, then take a bold step forward or else make a permanent retreat.

5. You never know when opportunity will come knocking again.

Even if you don't end up contracting with said prospect, it behooves both parties to keep relations open and friendly. If you close the door on someone simply because they've decided not to work with you, you're letting your ego get the best of you and that's limiting. Keep the faith and be ready for future doors to open. . . perhaps with this person, or maybe an associate of theirs.

In short: honesty is the best policy, and compromise is always the ultimate goal. Go for a win-win situation every time.

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

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