1. Everything is negotiable
Keep an open mind about what is negotiable. You may believe retail prices in stores are the bottom line, but they are not! There are very few non-negotiable products or services. Try to negotiate and you will be surprised what you can get.
2. When is the best time to negotiate?
Negotiate when your opponent is happy or content. They’ll be less likely to give you opposition and say no than when they are unhappy or feeling discontent. When you have the advantage, all of the pressure is on them. You should also consider the actual time of the day that you negotiate. Everyone has a biological clock, a best time and an off-time to work or perform. Find their off-time and your peak time, and hopefully, they match. Never negotiate in your off-time. For example, some people are morning people. They jump out of bed ready to get right to work. Others are night-owls and work better at night. Let’s say that the business you are considering buying from has office hours of 11 am-7 pm. This is a clue that they are not morning people because they don’t even come into the office until around 11 am.
3. Know your goals
The best negotiators have specific goals and objectives. Keep them in mind and progress toward them. Write these goals and objectives down. Remember, what is in print seems like it is law, so it works to help you work toward achieving your goals and objectives if you write them out.
4. Keep the bottom line in mind
Forget your pride, prestige and need to be right. Remember, in negotiation only the bottom line is important. Set your personal emotions and feelings aside so that you can move toward the bottom line with a clear head. The end result is the only factor to consider.
5. Set the pace of the race
Have a game plan, a good idea of how many meetings, the format, and specific deadlines that lead toward closing the deal. A runner in a race has to set his pace so he can win. If he starts out running really fast he may run out of the breath and the energy it takes for him to finish the race-and finish the race in the lead. If he paces himself-starting out slow and easing into the race-then he has a better chance of winning. The same holds true for the negotiation process. Don’t run like a racehorse out of the gate when negotiations begin. Start slowly and ease into the negotiations, always keeping your game plan in mind.
6. Access your opponent’s philosophy NEGOTIATION
Win/win philosophy works, but not all the time. There will come a time when it is
appropriate to play the win/lose game. Use the techniques discussed earlier in the book to figure out what your opponent’s philosophy is and then use the words and actions that match it.
7. Make goals realistic
Be realistic in your goals. Have a fair opening bargaining position. Know fair market value. Being a realist in the process of negotiation will get you closer to your goal, which is closing the deal.
8. Begin with rapport
Rapport goes a long way. Make your opponent feel like he/she is your friend, but do not get too personally involved. Be friendly but not personal. People buy from people they like or feel a connection.
9. To negotiate in person or by phone?
Some people make a better impression in person while others do better over the phone. It depends on your style and level of comfort. If you are confident, understand body language, and are more of a visual person, then negotiate in person. You can get a lot of information by watching body language. If you are a little timid, lack confidence, or are more of an auditory learner then consider negotiating by phone.
10. Negotiate by phone
If you are going to negotiate by phone, be the one to make the phone call to your opponent. You pick the time of the call and make sure that you are prepared before you make the call. If they call you first, do not react. Ask if you can call them back in a few minutes or an hour, after you have had time to collect your thoughts.
11. Negotiate from strength
In person-to-person negotiation, have the meeting in your office. Home-court advantage can throw off your opponent.
12. Know walk-away points
Some of the best deals are the ones you will walk away from doing. Know your bottom line and stick to it.
13. Do not get upset about the first offer
The first offer made in a negotiation is usually done to test the waters. They want to see the reaction and gauge the opposition’s stance. You know the law of contrast. It is simply a ploy. Do not take it personally.
14. Do not get upset at the discussions
Most of the discussions are meant to take advantage or gain the advantage. It is just part of the process. If you are getting upset, the opponent’s ploys are working. Even if you are on fire on the inside, make sure that your exterior actions, expressions, voice level, and words are calm and collected. Speak matter-of-factly and avoid showing too much emotion.
15. Let them make the first offer
Do not show your cards. Keep your “ace,” and try to get a look at their cards-see where they are coming from. This allows to use their position to your advantage.
16. Keep asking questions
Every meeting should make questions pop into your head. Make them give you answers to your questions. Have them provide you with more information-it gives you the advantage. The more you know, the better off you are because you know what has to be done to make the deal close.
17. Do not tell. Ask!
No one likes to be told how to conduct their business or what to do. Instead of making statements as a way to get what you want, pose questions to lead them in the direction that you want them to go.
18. Lead with the minors
Keep your major concessions for as long as you. Use only the minor concessions at the start and give a little at a time. This allows you to control your loss in the game and you never know where they may accept. For example, if you want selling a home that is listed for $200,000 but you know is only worth $180,000 and that is as much as you are willing to sell it for. The prospective buyer offers you $160,000. Come back with a counteroffer of $195,000. Don’t automatically drop the price down to the $180,000. See what the prospective buyer’s response is first. They may accept at $195,000 or they may come back with an offer of $170,000.
19. Be patient
Waiting out your opponent is a skill. Do not fold under pressure. Silence is golden. Don’t let your impatience and anxiousness to get the deal closed in the way of your good sense. Things that are rushed into usually end in disaster.
20. Greed kills
If you get what you came for, close the deal and walk away. More than one deal has been ruined by a greedy attitude. Don’t let your greed get in the way of getting what you want.