Generally speaking: not too early, but also don’t wait too long. Make sure that you have developed a relationship and have identified the needs and wants of the other party. Maybe you already know some pain triggers and exit lines of your negotiating partner.
Be careful how the other party responds to your argument and your bid. Maybe you will notice an agreement from your counterpart by facial expression or body language.
Warning: don’t be shy now!
There’s no need to wince. The first offer should in any case meet your predetermined optimum target. If there is a written offer on the table, keep that price in the first round and speak it out with determination. If you have to make cuts in your offer – such as discounts, rebates, volume changes, then give a reason to it and ask for something in return.
Even Better than just 1 Offer: 3 Options
People like Menschen lieben freedom of choice. Even if it is a mere illusion.
Take the extra effort and consider which solutions (optional offers) you can put together for the upcoming negotiation. Always guided by your interests and your operational objectives.
On the internet you will regularly find 3 packages: Silver | Gold | Platinum
This is also known as the Goldilock-Strategy.
If you make cuts to your offer – discounts, rebates, volumes … – then formulate a reasoning and request a consideration for it:
If You… , then I…