Millie informed me that two of my biggest clients were threatening to take their business elsewhere. I spent the next three and a half hours on the phone negotiating a new contract. We went back and forth, making offers and counteroffers. I gave it my best effort, but I ended up giving away more than I usually do. Normally I am a very tough negotiator, but since being caught off guard, the contract wasn't as lucrative for us as in the past. At least I was again able to retain the client’s multimillion-dollar business.