There is one commercial that has always made an impression on me. It was about a who was born with seemingly ultimate confidence. You’ll see this confidence in the way he asks girls out on dates even though he’s clearly shorter and younger; he graduates college even when kids his age are just finishing high school; and he even performs open heart surgery in the middle of a crowded concert hall. He can do all of these things with confidence and ease. However, when it comes to negotiating a price for a new car, he’s lost and paralyzed.
One reason why I think that this commercial worked very well was the fact that it was able to tap into a common fear for most people. This is the fear of negotiation. Of course, no one wants to get conned or outsmarted but this fear is sometimes what holds us back from trying to negotiate the terms that are favorable and beneficial to us. We fear that we might say the wrong thing, or forget something, and the other party can mold us into whatever they want. Because of this fear, we end up not negotiating at all.
Negotiations Happen Everyday
No matter how afraid we are of negotiations, or how much we try to avoid it, we are actually negotiating something every day. From reaching simple agreements as to where to eat or what movie to watch, to haggling at a store, these are all negotiations. However, in a business deal, there is obviously so much more at stake while negotiating, and you are quite possibly talking about large amounts of money or big liabilities. But as is always the case, buyers and sellers are always negotiating, and as the saying goes: you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.
Many people think that the skill of negotiation is beyond them; this is not true. Don’t be afraid of speaking up and having your voice heard, especially if you don’t like the way things are going. Negotiating is something can be learned in time, and if you are always afraid of getting into it, then the skill might never develop. There are of course, certain things that would be helpful to remember while negotiating, to ensure that you curb your dealings to be more favorable to you. Here are a few things to help you gain an advantage during any dealing.
Never come out with a number first. When negotiating, don’t come out with a specific number or amount. This will allow your counterpart to have an advantage over you and flexibility to counter your proposals.
Tell the truth. The truth is always the best negotiating tool. Before starting the negotiating, make sure you know what you want, and your absolute limits – how high or low you can go. When you know this, you can effectively communicate what it is you really want.
Remember, when you negotiate, always try to be as truthful and fair as possible. Win-win scenarios will not always be the case, but aim for that with every negotiation. Don’t let one party feel resentful or unfairly dealt. With negotiating, everything can be resolved. And with a little bit of confidence and practice, you can do it perfectly too.