The Art of Negotiation for Optometrists

Negotiating can be stressful when making important decisions regarding your business. If you own an optometry practice, you may have to deal with various stakeholders to conclude major deals, such as a merger, the acquisition of another practice, or selling your own practice.

Experience does help you negotiate better, but if you are a novice, it is vital to learn some ground rules. Read these 5 tips to improve your negotiation skills  as an optometrist.

1.      Be Prepared

It is best to define your goals before you begin negotiating. You should have a clear idea about the deal you want to walk away with.

The first step is to gain a thorough knowledge of the party you would be interacting with. Check out their websites, press releases, and articles about their business online. Running a search on Google and LinkedIn can provide valuable insight to you.

Negotiation is more than just determining the final price of something. It also involves considering other factors such as exchanging warranty and payment terms. Understand your position in the market and grasp a basic understanding of the terms and concepts the other party may use.

2.      Prepare the First Draft

To successfully negotiate as an optometrist, make sure you have an upper hand by preparing the first draft yourself, or get one prepared by your lawyer. If you are dealing with a competing optometry business, being the first party to lay your terms on the table will make the other side more reluctant to challenge them.

However, make sure you avoid drafting an agreement that you know the other party will never agree to. During negotiations, if the other party is inclined towards a deal unfavorable for you, let them know your limits and show them that you are prepared to walk away even if you aren’t going to do that.

3.      Aim High

When finalizing a deal, try for the best possible outcome. For instance, if you plan on selling your optometry practice, determine the price you will be willing to accept.

Make up your mind about the bottom line, beyond which you will not proceed. If you plan on buying an optometry practice, pre-decide the price above which would not be feasible for you to pay. A fizzled out deal is better than excessive compromise and getting your interests hurt.

4.      Have a Plan B

Figure out your plan of action in case the deal fails to materialize. This practice will facilitate you during negotiations. If you are not in a strong position, learn to accept it from the very beginning.

A solid plan B saves you from disappointment and offers an alternative path when the initial negotiations fail. Make sure you do not reveal your contingency plan to the other party. If the other side gets to know about your alternatives, they may gain leverage to push you into finalizing a deal unfavorable for you.

5.      Stay Honest

You don’t have to be cunning and manipulative to negotiate well. People tend to treat you the way you treat them. Manipulating may get you a good deal, but you may be confronted with the same party later on and may land in trouble if they remember their past experience.

Being honest does not mean you should reveal everything to the party you are negotiating with. The trick is to divulge limited information, but arrive at a fair deal at the same time.

Owning an eye care business implies several dealings with patients, competitors, employees and other related parties. Negotiate smartly by knowing your best interests, understanding the goals of the other party, and maintaining honesty.

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