Negotiation is an important part of running any business, regardless of your industry. Whether you’re dealing with vendors, clients, suppliers, landlords, or employees, negotiating every contract you sign will help you get the best possible agreements for your business.

Here are a few tips to remember when you’re sitting at the negotiating table.  

1. Know your objective 

Be clear about what you want to achieve in your business deal. Are you trying to get a client to pay for changes that are out of scope? Are you negotiating a higher price for your product? Are you asking a vendor to extend credit terms? Part of this includes knowing when you’re willing to walk away. Sometimes it’s better to leave a deal on the table than to hash out a settlement that’s not in your business’s best interest.

2. Be prepared 

Gather as much information as possible regarding the person or organization you’re negotiating with, as well as the central issue of your negotiation. The better you understand the situation, the better the chances of coming up with a solution that benefits both parties. For example, if your business rents space and you want to save money on utilities, research the cost to make your space more energy-efficient, as well as potential savings. Use these figures to propose a plan to your landlord. For instance, you might offer to offset some renovation costs with your initial savings.

3. Communicate clearly 

Set the tone of any negotiations by outlining your business objectives and what you’re bringing to the table. That way, if the other party offers a solution that doesn’t meet your needs, it’s easier to explain why that arrangement won’t work for you. If the other party understands your business needs, they may even offer an unexpected solution.

4. Ask questions 

To make sure you understand the other party’s points, repeat your interpretation of their position and ask them to confirm or clarify, if needed. For instance, if a vendor offers you a 10 percent discount on bulk purchases, ask what constitutes a bulk purchase and how frequently you have to order to qualify. This can help you better understand the business implications of an offer.

While using these techniques won’t guarantee you a win every time, they will help you put your best foot forward. Knowing what you want and how to ask for it can give you the upper hand you need to get the best deal for your business.