Negotiating to get what you want from a deal

Negotiating to get what you want from a deal

Most negotiations are the beginning or the continuation of a long-term relationship, and there’s nothing worse than being in a relationship with someone who feels like they’ve been screwed.

As property investors looking to source ourselves a great deal, I think meticulous preparation, a level temperament and a genuine love of the game are some of the secrets to success.

Here, a few my top tips for graciously getting what it is you want from any negotiation:

Set Your Goal In Advance 

Know what you hope to achieve prior to negotiating. It’s the golden rule, and the one most people fail to heed. Without a plan, you allow the opposing party to define your goals, instead of the other way around.

Go For a Win/Win Outcome

Often, the best negotiations result in a deal that benefits both parties. That is where both sides get what they want. There are times when you simply want to go for the jugular, but, as a guiding principle, you want the other person to feel pleased with the outcome, even if you are the clear victor. You never know when you’ll have the opportunity to work together in the future.

Know Your Opponent's Objectives

The most valuable thing you can do is correctly identify the other person’s top priorities. Often, they’re not at odds with yours; you can give them what they want and they feel like they’ve won, at little cost to yourself. Yes, negotiating is about money and the bottom line, but a lot of times, it’s much more emotional and complex than that. Realizing that the economic outcome may not be the other party’s top priority will enable you to achieve better results than you may have anticipated.

Preparation is Invaluable 

The more you know, the stronger your position. It’s tough to argue with someone who can back up their assertions with facts and a smart, articulate argument.

Be Bold – Ask For what You Want 

The rule of thumb in life and especially in negotiating is that you don’t get what you don’t ask for. The worst that can generally happen if you ask for something is you can be told no. 

Do NOT Negotiate Via Email 

It’s a cop-out that benefits the weaker party by allowing them to avoid a direct confrontation and take more time to craft a strong response to their weak position. I always prefer to speak face to face, typically in my own office (home court advantage!).

Listen More Than You Speak

When people are uncomfortable, they start rambling as a way to fill the space. Some of the strongest negotiators I know just sit back and listen. The more they don’t engage or discourage the other person from feeling uncomfortable, the more likely the other person is to slip up and offer information they otherwise would have guarded.

Check Yourself

Don’t fidget. Don’t pick your nails. Make eye contact. Check in with your body and ask: Am I sitting upright? Do I look overeager? Is my posture communicating aggression when that’s not going to help—or do I appear meek and intimidated?

Be Prepared to Walk Away 

Regardless of how high the stakes, you have to be mentally prepared to walk away. Be it a job offer or a rent renewal, you may need to let it be known that you’re willing to walk if you can’t get on the same page regarding terms. If things get too heated, it’s often a good idea to stop a discussion and say, “we’re obviously not on the same page. Let’s take a day or two to think about things and then revisit.” Negotiations can get back on track pretty quickly when you allow people the time to cool off.

Always Practice When The Stakes are Low

Go into a boutique and try to get a discount. Call the phone company and threaten to switch providers if they won’t give you a deal on your service going forward. When the stakes are low, it’s a great time to work on your skills. Plus, it can be fun. As I said earlier, you don’t get what you don’t ask for.

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