A friend of mine has a five-year-old daughter who is already the queen at negotiating. She’ll say things like, “Mommy, how about I eat that apple and if I finish the whole thing I can have a piece of chocolate?” Or “We don’t have to go sledding for long — how about just one minute?” Children champion negotiating skills at an early age. They understand innately the importance of trying to come to an agreement with whomever it is they are negotiating. So are you a negotiator or a compromiser? There is a difference. Negotiations happen between two parties, where you work together to come up with a plan or a price that is mutually beneficial to you both. A compromiser? Well, I think you know the answer to this. We’ve all been compromisers, probably too many times. You don’t want to lose the deal or you fear losing a long-time customer relationship to a competitor, so you compromise. You give your customer what he wants in the deal, but it doesn’t match what your needs are. Compromising is reactionary. You do it typically out of fear. Negotiating, especially during these tough times, is critical to keep your business successful. You can get what you need without “cutting deals.” You just have to negotiate intelligently and effectively with your customers.