How What I Do Helps Your Business Grow
“Hi, I’m Devon. I’m a Negotiation Consultant” is how I usually introduce myself. Well, not at the grocery store or socially…but you know what I mean.
And the response is usually “Oh, cool!” accompanied by a smile and nod.
Because what the hell is a negotiation consultant, and why on earth would I need to work with one?
So here’s my answer.
As a negotiation consultant, I’m here to make sure that you don’t get screwed. That you aren’t working your buns off to build a business — but all the while over-paying, under-charging, and signing contracts that are going to sell you up the river later on.
What I do helps you preserve that precious limited resource — sanity. It also helps your business grow. Here’s how.
Spending less than you earn is the best way to get some serious money in the bank. Paul Jarvis wrote a great piece about it recently. How often do you find yourself working like a madman to meet client deadlines, celebrate cashing all those cheques and then look at your balance and let out a ‘WTF!? Where’s all my money?!’ Too often probably. Those nickels and dimes can slip through your fingers like sand. And not having that money to reinvest in your business, or pay yourself a sustainable wage (<- I know, what’s that?) just puts you on the hamster wheel.
One of my superpowers is that I can spot opportunities to carve out savings and banish inefficiencies the same way some people can see ghosts. We’ll all be looking at the same thing, but I’m the one in the corner getting all antsy and excited because of what I’m picking up on. I see the opportunities, I share the opportunities, I help you go after them. Whether it’s saving $5 a month, or knocking down a venue quotation by over $10,000 (true story!) that’s the kind of goodness a Negotiation Consultant can bring to your business.
Pricing our services is tough. We can use all of the formulas in the world, but at the end of the day we usually end up charging what feels right to our gut. Which is great — until that price is way too low and you aren’t earning enough to keep yourself in rent + wine + puppy food + a well-deserved vacation. And even when we decide it’s time to bump up those rates…we stumble with how to do it. Hate to break it to you, but this stumble is keeping your revenues down, and your business stuck.
Like most Capricorns, I’m a nice solid predictable Type-A. I love me some colour-coded spreadsheets and action plans. As a Negotiation Consultant this comes in handy (and I get faaaar too much joy out of it. It’s sick.) when I can take your goal: Higher Rates, and break it down into actions steps for you to take. This giant task/worry/fear/panic becomes manageable — and even a little fun.
For The Love Of God, Put Down The Pen And Don’t Sign That Contract.
The deal seems good. Great, in fact. You’ve landed a purchase from a major retailer and couldn’t be more thrilled to have your handcrafted product featured at Fancy Store. Wonderful. Except for that single line in the contract that signs over the rights to your design to that Fancy Store. So that once your order is filled, they take your design and outsource to a lower-cost producer. And you earn nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Oops.
I’m not a lawyer — but I’ve read (and written) my fair share of contracts that contain clauses like this. I know how to work language to sound wonderful, but contain a ‘sleeper cell’ of crappity crap crap for the little guy. And now I use my powers for Good. A Negotiation Consultant can raise the red flags in your contract, propose alternatives, and give the whole thing a re-jig that means it’s not just a nice legal document — it actually helps you achieve your business goals, and do business the way you want to do it.
Do any of these situations sound eerily familiar? Want a lil bit of help getting off that hamster wheel? Give a shout — firstname.lastname@example.org — with your biggest struggle/question/concern/panic/recurring business dream and I’ll tackle it. With glee.
Devon Smiley is a Negotiation Consultant for ambitious entrepreneurs, and a firm believer that no one is ever too small to negotiate. Her mission is to make sure that you’re maximizing your earnings, signing fair deals, and keeping as much of that hard-earned money in your pocket as possible. Sound good? Stay connected, plus receive a copy of her guide “15 Surefire Ways to Make More Money Without Finding New Clients”.
Originally published at DevonSmiley.com.