Negotiating. I know, I know. Just the thought of it makes you feel all nervous and uncomfortable inside, your palms start to sweat, you suddenly feel like you should be wearing an eye patch, gold chains, & bustin’ rhymes and the name on your office door should now read, “Slick Rick.” Listen up, when you put on your negotiating hat, you don’t have to seem like you just stepped off the used car lot.
Getting to yes, in negotiation doesn’t mean you have to be sleezy, slimy, slick or any of the other Seven Dwarfs. Huh?
The thought of negotiating is scary, I’ll admit it (at first anyway), but don’t panic. You have to get out of your head and into the moment. It takes time, practice, and a constant reminder of these three tips to become a master negotiator.
Here’s a Can of Shut the Hell Up
If you’re gonna be a good negotiator, you must be a good listener. Now, this is challenging for most of us men (yes, I’m stereotyping, and I’m pretty damn sure I’m right), so listen up. First and foremost, stop talking. Negotiating is not about you. Its not about beating your chest. You have to uncover the needs of your buyer, seller etc., and the only way to do that is to listen. Don’t be thinking about the game, what you’re going to eat for lunch, or the chick you met at the bar last night. Focus! Its human nature to hate feeling like we’ve lost or failed, but (lemme’ let you in on a little secret) someone always wins or loses in a negotiation. That “Win Win Negotiation” stuff is bull-manure! Your job is to make sure your opponent does not feel like he’s lost. Ask open questions that lead the person across the table to believe they’re getting precisely what they are asking for. Try to make them come to your conclusion as if it was there idea. Try to make them verbalize why they should sell their house to you at the insanely low price your offering.
The very best book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read many) on negotiating is, “Getting to Yes,” by Fisher & Ury. What if you learned just two things in this book that could give you the upper hand in every negotiation with a seller? Wouldn’t it totally be worth the $10 bucks you’ll spend – especially if you make $10,000 bucks on your next deal?
Check out the book ——> Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Stick to Interests not Positions
When you’re dealing with sellers, know what your max dollar is, but also know and relate with the seller’s interests. Get them to understand that you are the resolutions to their problem. You know in your head, that you’re only going to spend $100,000, and their should be discussion with the seller to focus on this number – but you should help the seller paint what $100,000 grand does to resolve their problem. Plant the seed. Reinforce why you’re the one for them, and when they say they need more money (and they will), don’t budge. Tell them your hard and fast dollar amount again, and have them keep reminding themselves them why they called you. Eventually, they’ll understand the value of you and your service, and the price will get pushed to the back burner.
Invent Options for Mutual Benefit
Gain Sometimes its not just about the dollars. In fact, many times – its not about the dollars. Suppose you walk into Grandma’s house and you discover that Nonna was a hoarder! You’re amongst the mounds of crap negotiating with Jr and his wife, and you’re at a stalemate. Then Jr. pipes up and says, “I just can’t bear to get rid of all this stuff. Its gonna be too emotionally draining to throw all of this in a dumpster.”
At that point I would say, “I’m not sure I can help, but let me understand, are you saying that you’re just too tied to all your Mom’s belongings to throw it away? Its so soon right? I can understand why this would be so hard for you to have to do all of this yourself.”
Then after Jr. stops wiping the tears from his eyes, you say, “What if I could help you get rid of everything? I’m not sure that I can – but what if, I could get the people, and the dumpsters, and the permits? Would that be helpful?”
Not only have you tapped in to pain, you’ve also made Jr reiterate that pain – and most importantly you’ve proposed a possible solution. This makes you look like a hero, and it makes Jr. feel like he’s won. That little move brings “goodwill.”
Negotiating is like a delicate dance. Learn how not to stand on your partners feet – and you’ll find yourself winning more deals.