Negotiation is often used in a setting where one party is attempting to receive the most beneficial outcome for themselves. For example, if you are purchasing a service from a landscaper, you would attempt to negotiate a lower rate for more work from the landscaper. This outcome benefits you by not only saving money but by receiving more services from the landscaper than was originally intended. It’s important to understand the tactics used to achieve this outcome.
Listening and Patience
- Listening is probably the most under-appreciated skill. Despite most negotiations being about what you want, learning to listen to the other party can offer you multiple avenues to reach your goal.
- Listening allows you to understand how the other party thinks which you can use to help you coerce them.
- Listening to the other party allows you build trust between the two of you.
- Listening prevents you from making mistakes or assumptions. Deeper in the negotiations, if you have pre-conceived notions that are incorrect, speaking them can be an offensive blunder that can ruin your negotiations.
- Patience allows you time for foresight. By not rushing, you’re able clearly set a path through your conversation to achieve your ends.
- Not rushing allows you to clearly present your argument to the other party. They will know exactly what you want if you take the time to articulate.
Whichever party is beginning negotiations will often begin with an extremely large offer. The offer is designed to shock you and reduce how you will feel about any offers that follow. This way, the opposing party can work their price down at their own pace and force you to feel grateful for the current price.
When attempting to negotiate, often the other party will attempt to break down the arguments you present. Besides being used to distract and derail your thoughts, it is also used to inject ideas into the topics you failed to clarify. For example, a customer says “Insurance is included, right?” The response should be similar to “On items where we pay for insurance, we add a percentage to the price. So yes, if you are willing to pay extra, then we can cover this item.” In this scenario, the customer attempted to acquire free insurance because the seller failed to clarify.
When entering a negotiation, it’s useful to have these tactics memorized beforehand. This way, you can be prepared for any tactics the other party may attempt.