The ability to negotiate successfully in today’s turbulent business climate can mean the difference between success and failure. With this in mind, here are Ed Brodow’s Ten Tips for Successful Negotiating:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Successful negotiators are assertive and challenge everything—they know that everything is negotiable. I call this “negotiation consciousness.”
2. Shut up and listen. Negotiators are detectives. They ask probing questions and then shut up. The other negotiator will tell you everything you need to know. All you have to do is listen.
3. Do your homework. Gather as much pertinent information prior to your negotiation. What are their needs? What pressures do they feel? What options do they have? Doing your homework is vital to successful negotiation.
4. Always be willing to walk away. I call this “Brodow’s Law.” In other words, never negotiate without options. When you say to yourself, “I will walk away if I can’t conclude a deal that is satisfactory,” your inner resolve will encourage them to make concessions.
5. Don’t be in a hurry. If you rush through the negotiation, you are more likely to make mistakes and leave money on the table. Whoever is more flexible about time has the advantage. Your patience can be devastating to the other negotiator if they are in a hurry.
6. Aim high and expect the best outcome. Successful negotiators are optimists. If you expect more, you’ll get more. A proven strategy for achieving higher results is opening with an extreme position. Sellers should ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers should offer less than they are prepared to pay.
7. Focus on the other side’s pressure, not yours. Successful negotiators ask, “What is the pressure on the other side in this negotiation?” If you discover that they are under pressure, which they surely are, look for ways to exploit that pressure in order to achieve a better result for yourself.
8. Show the other person how their needs will be met. Instead of trying to win he negotiation, seek to understand the other negotiator’s perception of the deal and help them to feel satisfied. They will be more inclined to help you satisfy your needs.
9. Don’t give anything away without getting something in return. Whenever you make a concession, get a concession in return. Always tie a string: “I’ll do this if you do that.” If they have to earn your concession, they will derive a greater sense of satisfaction than if they got it for nothing.
10. Don’t take the issues or the other person’s behavior personally. Obsessing over the other negotiator’s personality, or over issues that are not directly pertinent to making a deal, can sabotage a negotiation. If someone is rude or difficult to deal with, try to understand their behavior and don’t take it personally.
Ed Brodow was dubbed the “King of Negotiators” by SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt. Ed is the bestselling author of Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals (Doubleday).
Ed can be reached at www.brodow.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; and 831-372-7270