11 Principles I Follow When Negotiating Deals With Clients

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  1. DESIGNING THE ALLIANCE
    This is something I learnt during my Coach-Certification days. It is very necessary to know the rules, regulations, do’s & don’ts of the relationship you are getting into. And I have used it in every area of my life — Personal & Professional.
    The Thumb Rule:
    - Be explicit.
    - Be direct.
    - Bring out the worst case scenario and you will know the boundaries you can & cannot cross.
  2. WORD PLAY
    I pay attention to the words the client uses. If he casually uses statements like “lets see” or “lets talk about it later” or “will get back to you” — those are Red Flags. If I hear such statements, almost immediately I address these statements and ask the client what does he mean by them SPECIFICALLY.
  3. THE WRITTEN WORD
    Expectations & Deliverables — I take it in writing.
    Why?
    You can claim what was verbally stated.
    But you always challenge was given in writing.
  4. ALL IN OR BUST
    Trust is a double edged sword — it can either hurt you or the client. That is why I tell the client — if either of us wants to cheat the other, we may most probably succeed. But that would only cause both of us harm. So its best we trust each other 100% for the duration of the project.
    Remember — there is no such thing as 99.99% trust.
  5. EXPLICITLY EXPLICIT
    Be explicit what you can do and cannot do.
    NEVER overpromise just to keep someone happy.
  6. WHY I PREFER PREMIUM CLIENTS
    A big client or small client — The amount of headache & effort that goes into getting & keeping a customer happy is always the same. Just because a client paid more doesn’t mean I am going to worship him. And just because another client couldn’t afford to pay me top dollar doesn’t mean I will treat him like crap. In my eyes — every client who pays deserves the best. So that is why I focus on always getting Premium clients who pay more per hour than those who pay less per hour.
  7. QUALIFY YOUR CLIENT
    If anyone tells you that their product or service is for everyone and anyone — then that individual/product/service will not survive the test of time. In the same way — not everyone is my client. I only prefer those who have the money, maturity & means to work with me. Otherwise — sorry, you can opt for Ramu next door.
  8. R-E-S-P-E-C-T
    Remember Aretha Franklin’s 1967’s song “Respect Yourself”? When I teach aspiring Online Consultants & Entrepreneurs — I always remind them — If you do not respect yourself, the client will not respect you. To date, I have never had a client who didn’t respect me. I don’t care how much money the client has — if the nose is up in the air — its goodbye from my side. And that principle has made me refuse celebrities & cry-babies. Yes, the money maybe good but I don’t need to take crap.
  9. LIKABILITY
    The relationship between the client & the service provider is an intimate and scared bond. If you both cannot like each other — its best you do not work with each other. Which brings me to the next point…..
  10. LONGEVITY
    Whatever client you take — take a long term view on the relationships. That is why I never lie, never bluff, never over-promise or over-charge even if I could. Simply because I remind myself — when someone is with you in the long haul, you cannot fool them forever. So whichever client I accept — I tell myself — this client is here to stay. So make it worthwhile.
  11. EXIT STRATEGY
    Every Marriage has a possibility of a Divorce.
    Every business venture has the bull of bankruptcy chasing it.
    Every journey that begins will eventually end.
    So that is why whenever I speak to my client — I discuss the exit strategy with them and bring out the bad & ugly possibilities that IF (big if) the relationship doesn’t work — we agree upon the terms & conditions of our departure. So that makes the client feel safe, secure & strong.

Loy Machedo

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