Successful negotiation is the key for any business, however large or small. The total amount of a product or service is not as important as the percentage you can manage to negotiate off the listed price.

Here are a few tips to negotiate better.

Do a Little Research

Get as much information as you can about the product and the supplier or customer that you are going to negotiate with. That will prepare you beforehand as to the level of pricing that you are dealing with.

If your supplier or customer has the habit of being hard-nosed, you can increase your starting price a little before adjusting it during the negotiation, so that the opposite party will have the mental satisfaction of netting a good deal.

It's Not Personal

Do not be afraid to negotiate. This is normal in any business transaction, and at the end of the year it can make a big difference to your bottom line. However, do not take anything personally during negotiations. Don't offend the other party or get offended yourself.

Try to understand their point of view during the negotiations. Keep your attitude firm but courteous during and after the negotiation. You never know when you might need that supplier (or customer) again in future.

Use a Different Window to Get into the Same House

This means that if you are unable to convince your supplier to lower their prices, then you can at least try to convince them to give you free delivery or better credit terms. So, even if you don't manage to get a lower price, you can still reduce your overhead — which goes straight to your bottom line.

Becoming a good negotiator takes time and practice. You have to start somewhere — so why not follow the tips above and start today?