Like they say, “Anything Can Be Negotiated”, if you are in the proper emotional state of mind, and know the strategies and tactics needed to close the deal. Here are five rules that will help you… Negotiate Like A Pro.
1. Get A Reality Check. What Is It Worth?
Whether it is a car, a raise at work, a house, a pedigreed dog or a collectible on eBay, you need to know what it is worth before you start the negotiation. You also need to set a spending or buying limit before you begin the negotiation. If you are buying or selling something, you need to do some comparative shopping. A good source is the internet, especially eBay. Looking at selling prices for comparable items can be a good reality check. What an item is worth is often a lot less than what you paid for it and less than a listing in a catalog unless the item is extremely rare. Be sure to get the right comparables. For example the value of a coin can be affected by the date, condition or mintage. It is important to know the items rarity. If something is readily available, buyers might not offer much because they know that if they don’t get the item from you, they can get it somewhere else. However, if your item is very rare, then the whole psychology is different. Now the buys know that if they don’t buy it from you, there probably wont be another chance anytime soon.
2.. Always Have A Plan B.
It is an important strategy to always have a backup plan. As they say, you should not put all your eggs in one basket. You should be asking yourself questions that start with how or what if? How can I sweeten the deal? How can I close the deal? What if the party likes this? What if they reject this? Try to come up with some alternatives that will help seal the deal. Having a Plan B gets easier the more you negotiate. It becomes a way to be flexible and react to what the other side wants and think fast on your feet.
3. Does The Other Side Want Something Other Than Money?
Sometimes the other party wants something other than money such as time or an apology. We are so used to negotiating about money that sometimes we forget that money is not everything. For example a truly heartfelt apology can go a long way to help resolve a consumer dispute. If the other side feels that the apology is sincere, the apology may even be enough to close the deal. An employee might want time-off instead of money. You may be able to suggest part-time work or flex time or vacation time if the employee is one that you want to keep. Sometimes what is wanted is convenience rather than money. These suggestions may be a way to resolve the problem and to save money at the same time.
4. Only Negotiate with Someone with Authority.
Someone with authority is someone who can speak or act on behalf of the company or employer. If you are not dealing with someone with authority, then you are not really negotiating and are wasting your time. If you are not sure whether a person has authority to give you what you want, ask them directly. If you are in a more complex setting, you may ask for a written statement from the principal that this agent speaks or acts on his behalf. Sometimes someone will have the authority to act on someone else’s behalf, but they may have restrictions such as a set monetary amount. They can sell you an item at a certain price but cannot go any lower. This is important because you do not want to find out at the very end that the person you thought you were negotiating with did not have any the authority to do so.
5.. Set the Tone and Look the Part.
You are the one who should set the tone of the negotiation. When you come into the room for the first time, you should look the part. You should wear professional clothes. If a woman, don’t wear a lot of distracting jewelry. Act as though you know what you are doing and get to business quickly. Have a notebook and a briefcase and start right in. Project the image that you want to project. You might even try it in the mirror a few times. You want to give good eye contact and be a good listener. You want to seem knowledgeable about the issue or issues to be discussed of the day. You can state what your philosophy is and what your negotiation style is. Think of the qualities of a negotiator that you admire most and try to project them. For example, my idea of a good negotiator is someone who is firm, flexible, fair, and honest, and has a good sense of humor. That is the tone I would like to set.