by Mary Cantando, Founder of The Woman’s Advantage, Guest Contributor

Negotiation is one of the key elements in building a successful business. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to take anything according to the initial offer. There is ALWAYS room for negotiation.

Here are five steps to negotiate anything.

Five Steps to Negotiate Your Way to Success

1. Build a relationship.

Regardless of whether you have been dealing with a vendor for years, or dropped into a storefront for the first time, it all starts by building relationships. A great way to start is with a compliment.

2. Identify an affinity.

Look for something you have in common with an individual. Are you both NY Mets fans? Did you go to the same college? Do you have kids about the same age?

3. Ask for what you want.

EXACTLY what you want. A $10 discount? Free shipping? Buy three get one free? A 10% discount on an order over $10,000?

4. Ask powerful questions.

What do we need to do to reach an agreement? What part of my offer concerns you? How did you arrive at that price?

5. Ask for consideration.

Every time you make a concession, you should get something in return. ASK for it.