Negotiation, anywhere, anytime…
Are you a good negotiator? Do you know good negotiators, who always buy things at a much lower price or get better salaries, or sell their services higher?
Not so many people are good negotiators, just because of a simple fact: we do not know how!
Personal Barriers to Negotiation
There are many personal barriers to negotiation, starting with being shy about it. We don’t want to look cheap, or we think this is not a nice thing to ask for more. And in many cultures, it is not common to do it.
However, once we overcome our fears, shame and all other negative feelings, we will find out that negotiation is nowhere near about being a cheap or a bad person.
The best way to overcome these barriers is a straightforward one: Think of it as a game played between the sides with some rules, tactics and principles. In the end, nobody is forcing anybody to do something they don’t want to do. Once it is over, everybody can be happy. And after an excellent negotiation, parties should generally end up being happy.
Then, Let’s Play The Game!
Like every game, you need to know the rules and tactics to be successful. Now, let’s go through 5 main negotiation principles that will help you get what you deserve.
#1 – Don’t Say YES or NO!
The number one rule of negotiation is never saying yes or no to an offer. Instead, start negotiating.
Let’s say somebody asked something that you don’t want to do, like joining a meeting in a long driving distance for you. Your immediate reaction could be to say, “No, I can’t come there on the weekend; it’s a long-distance for me!”.
However, the right thing to do would be to ask for something that would motivate you do it. So your answer could be: “It’s a long-distance for me; I would spend time with my family. But if I would be paid X amount of dollars, I could do it!”.
You asked for a high price that would motivate you to go. If they accept it, it’s fine. You are motivated now. If they don’t accept, you did not lose anything. You did not want to go anyway.
Instead of saying a straight answer, think of the things or occasions that would make you take the offer, and ask for that to start with.
#2 – Be Nice. Don’t Blame!
You asked for a shoe in a shop, and they say it is 300 Dollars. You don’t want to give 300 dollars for that shoe. It’s way above your limits, or simply you don’t think the product deserves that. It would be best if you were nice, showing a reaction: “Oh, the product is wonderful, BUT I can’t spend that much on it, I simply don’t have the budget. Can you give me a discount on that?”
You did not create a negative feeling, and you left the options open. If they can make a discount (they generally do), you could start negotiating for more now.
And as a side note, always try to reach the shop manager if possible, they can always be more flexible in offering discounts.
#3 – Set Your Limit, And Obey!
In any negotiation, the most important number is the limit you set for yourself. You should not go beyond that limit, no matter what.
If the offer is still beyond your limits, just WALK AWAY!
Obeying your limit has a couple of important use. The first one is that now you know where to stop. It gives you strength in your position. Another advantage is that when you walk away from a negotiation, it gives the other party (as well as yourself) a message that you can not be manipulated. You had your word, and you stuck to it. This deal is not done, but you are more powerful for the deals to come.
#4 – Use Tradables
If your negotiation is solely based on the money, it is not possible that both parties will be happy. Whoever gets more will be happy, and the other one loses.
That’s where the TRADABLES come in.
Tradables are the sub offers, additional products that you could trade in a negotiation. “I will agree to pay this amount for a couch, but I want a fast delivery.” Here, fast delivery is a tradable. You could not get the price down anymore, but you asked for something else. If that’s an important thing for you, you will be happy.
In any negotiation, find your tradables to give or to ask for before the negotiation takes place. Therefore, once you are asked to give a discount, you have something else to ask for and vice versa.
#5 – Numbers Do Tell!
One fundamental principle to follow is NOT using ROUND NUMBERS!
Say you are asked your hourly rate for a service. You said $100, and when asked for a discount, you said $80. What does this tell the other?
To start with, when you used these round numbers, it looks very made up. Almost as if you are trying some hypothetical figure to start.
Secondly, when you drop to 80 immediately, the other side would think: what was that $100 in the beginning? Was he trying to rip me off?
Finally, the other side would think, “he dropped from $100 to 80$ right away; it looks like he could go for $60 with good negotiation.”
So you gave all the wrong messages, to begin with.
Alternatively: You are asked for your hourly rate offer; you said $97, and when asked for a discount, you said, “well, it is not easy for me, but if you could agree to use more of my services in the following 3 months, I could go for $93.”
Do you see the difference? Not only your numbers looked more calculated, but you also asked for something else with the offered discount. You will be more close to creating trust and possibly getting the deal at a much higher rate.
#6 – BONUS Tip
On top of all these useful techniques, one last thing to be careful about: Never say, “This is my final offer!”
Just like we said initially, the negotiation is a game, and it is always on. So why block and limit yourself with these words? you may have reached quite closer to your limit really, but then again, why not so say it differently: “I am not able to offer you a lower price than this, even though I wanted to, sorry. Our policies don’t allow me” and meanwhile think of a tradable that you can ask for if you really needed to give something else to make the deal.
We hope these useful tips and techniques could help you in your daily negotiations and big ones like buying a house.
Sometimes a good negotiation is all you need to get a transaction going. Make sure you work with the right people in your real estate purchases and sales. Our experienced realtors are always there for you to help you with buying or selling your property.
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