Being in a position to negotiate means being in a position where you have options. The party at the negotiation table who needs the deal more or who has less options, is the party who has to agree to less favourable terms.
When we were just starting out with Comistar we often had to make discounts because we didn’t have cash in the bank. We had to get every client in as otherwise we couldn’t make our ends meet. We simply did not have grounds to negotiate. This doesn’t mean we gave discounts to everyone who asked for one, as we always tried to explain the value of the service, and in most cases, it was enough. However, due to the pretty standardised service we were providing, there was always someone providing the same benefits with a lower price.
Today, besides the fact that we’ve differentiated ourselves more, we also have the possibility to reject clients because we don’t need every client we can get. We can walk away from the deals. This gives us freedom.
Whether you’re negotiating a raise or terms of a business deal, having options gives you freedom.
If you can’t walk away, you can’t negotiate. If you can’t negotiate, you’re a slave.