If you’re a self-employed tax preparer, you’ll encounter many situations where you must negotiate a favorable outcome for your small business. These may be large or small deals and could occur with clients, colleagues and other businesses. In order to be a successful negotiator you must know how to achieve a win-win situation. Selling yourself short or taking too much from the negotiating party can be damaging long-term. Here are a few things to remember the next time you find yourself planning a negotiation:
1. Know what you want. First you must know what you want. Many negotiations fail because one or both parties did not determine beforehand what their objectives where. It’s difficult to hit the mark when you’re not even sure what your own target is. Don’t be too vague (“a favorable outcome”) and don’t be too rigid (“X amount or nothing”). Negotiation is all about modifying terms so that both parties can feel satisfied with the deal.
2. Come to the negotiation with different options. Negotiation requires flexibility. Come to the negotiation with different options in order to illustrate your willingness to achieve a favorable outcome for both of you. Perhaps you’ll be asked to lower your fee in order to get a larger company as a client. Don’t lock yourself into a situation where you’re not getting paid what you’re worth, but recognize that you can agree to a lower fee in the beginning which can be increased at a predetermined time.
3. Leave room to bargain. Be sure that you’ve determined a bottom line, or what you must see happen in order to accomplish your purposes, and then aim high. Seasoned negotiators recognize that they must aim high in order to get what they want. Determine your bottom line and pad it. If your initial offer is your bottom line you’ve left no bargaining room. Ask for more than what you expect to get and realize that the party you’re negotiating with is doing the same thing. But there’s a fine line between insulting the party by asking too much and low-balling yourself by asking too little.
4. Get to know the party you’re negotiating with. It’s important to not only know what you want but why you want it. You’ll probably be asked to express your objectives and why they are important to you. It’s equally important that you get the same information from the negotiating party. You should know them and understand their motives and objectives. When you know these things, you’ll be able to work a deal that’s favorable for them while being profitable for you.
5. Be patient. Good negotiations can require a series of meetings, phone calls, and email exchanges, so don’t feel pressured to reach an agreement after just one appointment. And sometimes it’s necessary to take a break and evaluate what has already been presented. Don’t feel pressured to end a negotiation too soon; often that means you’re getting the short end of the stick. Holding firm and allowing the negotiation to carry out a bit will demonstrate just how serious you are.
Negotiations are sometimes a frightening but necessary part of business. Don’t let the fear paralyze you. As long as you take these steps and follow your instincts, you’ll find yourself securing more and more favorable negotiations. Practice makes perfect and you have to start somewhere. Happy Negotiating!
Universal’s IRS-Approved Tax Training Will Help Meet IRS Regulations
Universal Accounting recently announced its approval as an IRS Continuing Education Provider, enabling individuals desiring to become Registered Tax Return Preparers to fulfill their CE requirements through Universal’s self-study and online tax courses.
The IRS oversees the approval of all CE providers. Because Universal’s tax training was already recognized as a sponsor of Quality Assurance Service (QAS) self-study courses, after meeting the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) rigorous standards, the Professional Tax Preparer program was easily adopted by the IRS. Universal is happy to join the ranks of IRS-approved Continuing Education Providers and is confident that their tax training will enable countless graduates to advance their careers in the finance industry.
If you would like to learn how the Professional Tax Program can enhance your career, call Universal Accounting at 1-877-833-7909.