How to Be a Better Negotiator

There’s a negotiator in all of us and whether we realize it or not, we negotiate every day. Teenagers negotiate with their parents to borrow the car on Friday nights; parents negotiate with their kids to clean their room. Employees and employers both negotiate on every level daily. Someone, somewhere, at this very moment is working hard to convince someone else of something.

Most people get stressed out when it comes time to go buy a new car, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Learning a few positive negotiating skills can make any buying situation a little more fun and mutually beneficial to both parties.

The first thing that you need to remember is that you are negotiating for the best deal possible. Keep your motives honest and keep a positive, upbeat attitude. Next, you never want to get anxious or in a hurry; this could be translated into being pushy or overbearing. The person that you are negotiating with should feel as relaxed and unthreatened as possible. You really want them to feel like they treated you right and gave you a good deal, rather than you “worked” them.

Knowing when the time is right to negotiate is another skill to have; for instance, if you’ve been on your job for quite a while and you feel its time for a raise, timing is crucial. If your boss is high on life because benchmarks or numbers were met, then the time is right to ask for a raise or promotion. If his dog ran away, his car broke down and he spilled coffee on his shirt going into a meeting, its safe to say that the timing is all wrong. Observing and being patient will ensure success during your barter.

Knowing what you want, and keeping your eye on the prize, so to speak, will help you be persistent, and you can be persistent without being rude. When dealing with any type of salesperson, you have to realize they are going to try to get you to agree to the highest price possible, that’s how they make their money. And know that they always start high in anticipation that you, the customer is going to negotiate with them. At this point hopefully you have done your homework and you know the price you want to pay, so stand your ground. Remember; keep your eye on the prize. Your positive persistence will eventually wear the person down and you will get what you want for the price you want to pay for it.

It’s also important to be able to think on your feet. You know the end result that you want, but there is no way of knowing the objections the other person has, or what direction how the conversation will actually take. It’s likely that the person you are negotiating with has been down this road, and probably has some surprises for you. Don’t let that rattle you; just meet the objections with the positive reinforcements of your ideal end result. Stay in control of the conversation and always lead them back to the result. When your salesman, boss service provider says, “So how ’bout those Dodgers”, take the conversation back to the subject!

Knowing what you want and what you are willing to do to get what you want will enhance your negotiating skills. Remember, being positive and honest the very best policy. Add a little charm and how could anyone tell you ‘no’?