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Making It Big

Learn how to negotiate successfully with big companies--even if you're just starting out.

This story appears in the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When you walk into a room filled with business bigwigs, you want to sit down and strike a deal. But being a young entrepreneur in college, you wonder: Exactly how do I secure those deals and prove my company has what it takes to deliver? "The key to any negotiation is preparation--perhaps even more so when you're younger or less experienced than the person across the table from you," says Randal Pinkett, author of Campus CEO and winner of season four of NBC's The Apprentice.

A college entrepreneur himself, Pinkett is no stranger to boardroom deal making at a young age. "Know what your sources of power are," he says. "If you have a product or service you know they need; if, as a young person, you have insight [into] a market they might not have insight into; if you have some type of competitive advantage over other firms that would be difficult to supplant--these are all sources of power you can lean on."

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