Some people simply have to win at everything. They treat every negotiation as a battle, never satisfied for both parties to come out with a fair deal, instead they have to feel like they have gotten the best of there opponent. I think this comes from some misguided "Wolf of Wall Street" syndrome that has "win at any cost" at its core.

We all know people like this and most of us dread doing business with them, because every interaction ends with a feeling of being "ripped off". They will negotiate on the purchase of a bus ticket. They are obsessed with the win, to the point where they spend their life burning people.

Negotiating is a part of life. In business we need to be good negotiators to make sure we can run our businesses as profitably as possible. But the key word here is fair. I always remember one of my earliest mentors sitting me down and explaining that if you are enter every negotiation with the intent of making sure that all parties can make some money, you will never have a shortage of people who want to work with. And he was absolutely spot on.

I have to negotiate with suppliers, such as graphic designers, media outlets, printers and subcontractors. I want to have a good relationship with these companies and I want them to do the best job possible for my clients. If I negotiate them down on price to the point where the project is only marginally profitable, they will lose interest, I will get a marginal quality job from them and the real loser is my client.

I make it clear to my clients from the start: we want to do the best job at the fairest price. If they want a cheaper job done, they should find someone else to do it. This philosophy has enabled me to build an excellent network of suppliers who do a great job every time. They make good money out of each project, my company makes good money and the client gets the best end result possible.

Develop your own philosophy and approach to negotiating, and by all means develop your skills as a negotiator. Take a mature approach to negotiating, think of the big picture, the power of a strong relationship built on mutual respect and the importance of everyone feeling that the relationship is fair and valued.

Saving a few bucks in the short term could have a serious impact on the long term.