Negotiating Is An Acquired Taste


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There is an art form to negotiating. When you think about it, we all do it every day whether with our kids, employee’s or in a sales situation. So how can you improve your negotiation skills and get to “yes?”

At the beginning of any negotiation you must prepare. Recently during a real-estate transaction we ran into some complications that led to a conflict and we almost lost the buyer. Deploying some simple steps can help get things back on track.

  1. Prioritize your stakes, what are you willing to give concessions on and what is off limits? Determine the best outcome prior to starting the negotiation then develop a Plan B scenario.
  2. Do your research. Identify where the other person’s interests lie. What issues are important to them? How well do you know them or the company they represent?
  3. Determine who else may have a stake in this negotiation? What deadlines are you up against? Can you create leverage to move the deal along or use the deadline as a cost of delay tactic?
  4. Develop supporting arguments and outcomes that can be used as persuasive bargaining tools.
  5. Work on a strategy. Determine your bottom line? Set up your goals from an aspirational and reality based perspective and outline what you want to achieve in writing.

Negotiations should be taken seriously, always remember not to get overconfident and never give away your bottom line.Using key objectives can help reveal your opponents positioning during the discovery process.

  1. Keep the lines of communication open while sharing, listening and asking “why” questions.
  2. Take a cooperative approach by identifying all possible issues surrounding the negotiations, never assume any- thing.
  3. When you are in the bar- gaining zone be prepared to find overlapping points and use bridging tech- niques to create alignment. Bridging identifies alternative concessions by using creative tradeoffs and develops reciprocity.
  4. Never make a concession without reciprocity and avoid unilateral concessions.
  5. Be firm and assertive. Know your worth and be prepared to walk away!
  6. Try to avoid getting emotionally attached to the outcome. One time I was purchasing a car and fell in love with the pin strip- ping detail. I started fixating on the fact the no other car would have those strips and lost track of the bigger negotiation.

Remember to stay focused during the negotiation process and you will obtain your ultimate goal.