Can I Tell You a Negotiating Reality?

Not Everyone Is Going to Accept the First (or Even Second) Offer

I’ve been studying the world of business since I was 15.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to take courses and develop skills in marketing, sales, operations, human resources and finance which is why I’m able to connect the dots for my clients and guide them to build a client growth engine.

Of all the courses I’ve taken, the most impactful were 2 courses on negotiation. One was during my MBA in Edinburgh and the other in Geneva when I worked for Procter & Gamble.

Here are the most important negotiation lessons that continue to shape how I approach my business dealings today:

  • Not everyone will accept your initial (or next) offer. If you truly believe in the value created by a partnership agreement – be prepared to keep negotiating and making new offers.
  • Any time you are invited to make an offer is a recognition that there is value on the table. Don’t underestimate or ever forget that. Focus on expanding the value so that all parties want to keep negotiating.
  • There are a million reasons why the timing is off for an agreement in the moment to be reached. Usually there are constraints of bandwidth in terms of time, money or health at play (sometimes all 3).  Have patience and focus on the big picture results while you continue to negotiate.

You may have noticed a theme: Stay at the table and keep negotiating.

To create a successful business, you must be committed to the long game.

I know the buzz can be heady when someone invites you to make an offer, however let’s normalize that not all offers lead to an immediate “yes.”

Sometimes a “no” simply means “not yet” and we need to commit to staying at the table.

Never lose site of the big picture: your ultimate goal is to create new beginnings with future clients. 

There are a million moving pieces and a “not yet” isn’t often about you or your offer at all.

Release the expectation of an immediate agreement and play the long game.

This week I made an offer to someone who said to me that she’s known for years that she will hire me, ever since she had a Business Scale Accelerator Session back in 2022.  The time wasn’t right back then to move forward with the offer. I didn’t walk away from the relationship. Instead I focused on adding value. I’ve invited her to attend my events, encouraged her to listen to my podcast and have proactively shared feedback and insights with her that I genuinely feel will help her on her journey at the speed she wants to travel. One day in the not too distant future,  I have zero doubt we’ll work together because I’m committed to staying at the table and she sees the value I bring as a mentor to help her create a client growth engine.

Can you say the same about how you show up in your business?

Do the potential buyers you’ve been engaging with an nurturing for the past months and years see your commitment to staying at the table and willingness to make new offers?

Take time to reflect and as needed take a course correction.

Value + Relationships + Long Term Focus are the keys to sustainable business growth.

Your business mentor,

Christine Campbell Rapin

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