how to negotiate

How To Negotiate And Get What You Want With These 5 Tips

Building a business requires several skills to be mastered and there’s no doubt that one of them is negotiation skills. You must master the art of negotiation and learn how to negotiate and get what you want.

Nothing in life comes easy. Most of the time, we must fight for what we want.

But most of the time, in our peaceful loving world, we have to NEGOTIATE! 

Yes, that’s the world’s diplomatic countries, successful entrepreneurs and winners in life use to get what they want. 

Today, I’m going to share 5 negotiation tricks that anyone can use and level up their negotiation skills!

How to negotiate and get what you want?

1. Do your research before negotiating

Yes, this is what you were taught in school. In order to learn how to negotiate, we have to go back to basics.

The detectives do this. The lawyers do this. Anyone who wants to WIN a negotiation HAS TO do this.

Ever wonder why the criminal masterminds never get caught by the police? 

Well it’s because they planned relentlessly and sought out all the information possible about the opponent. The same theory applies when negotiating.

You need to gather all relevant information prior to your negotiation. 

What do they need from you? What pressure does your opponent feel? What options do they possess? What weakness do they have? Doing your homework is paramount for a successful negotiation.

You can’t make accurate and feasible decisions if you do not completely know what you’re up against. When the negotiation starts, you’ll realize how important your homework really was. Only through thorough research about what you’re up against can you effectively beat them.

Remember the quote, “Knowledge is power”?

Well, it couldn’t have been truer in this case. The more information you acquire regarding your opponent, the stronger you become.

Yes that’s right, you’ll have to be Dr. Bruce Banner at night doing all the research and homework, and the Incredible Hulk in the morning diplomatically dissecting your, as the Hulk would say it, “Puny” Opponents. 

People who fail at negotiating, the people who lose money at the table, are usually the people who didn’t do their homework or research properly.

No one wants to be one of them.

2. Listen more, talk less

We just talked about winning and how you should go all Hulk on the opposing party. However, a harsh reality of life is that even your opposing party might be well prepared, in which case it will be very hard to strike a deal.

Not really because we’re here to save you. Remember, we want to learn how to negotiate.

It’s easy to march into a negotiation focused only on what you’ll say, especially when you’re nervous.

The aim of a negotiation isn’t always just to get what you want, but also to assist the opposition to get what they want. 

Or else, what chances do you have to ever strike a deal? To achieve that, you need to actually know what the other side wants — which means you have to intently LISTEN.

Finding some common ground means understanding that the common ground actually exists in the first place. 

In most situations, the negotiation isn’t all about the money. Perhaps the other side would appreciate a longer delivery time. Or maybe some other service facility, or perhaps some other terms. 

The only way you can discover that is if at first you LISTEN. 

Silence is definitely a powerful tool in the arsenal when negotiating. When the salesperson goes into a well-practiced sales pitch on the item, staying quiet is a gimmick to make the opposition doubt themselves. When you remain silent, they have no idea what’s going through your mind. You can be like Charles Xavier from X-Men on this one.

They are unsure as to what price to open with, they don’t know how serious you are about going forward with the deal, and they certainly don’t know if you’ve been shopping around for the same item in some other store.

In other words, they receive the minimum possible information about you. This can help you in a cornucopia of ways.

Also, listening more can help you understand what the opposite party wants. Understanding is always key, and by listening more, you might be able to strike up the perfect deal that you never thought was possible.

 A perfect WIN-WIN situation.

3. Be optimist - shoot for the moon, who knows, you might reach the stars

Successful negotiators are most of the time optimists.

If you expect more, you’ll eventually receive more. A scientifically proven strategy for achieving higher results is opening with an extreme position.

It is in nature that sellers will always ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers will offer less than they are prepared to pay.

People who aim higher inevitably do better. Your optimism will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, trust me.

However, if you have low expectations from your negotiations, you will probably wind up with a less satisfying outcome.

It’s basic psychology. It’s in our brains that when a party asks for something, no matter how extreme, that starts to act as the base of what we should give them. 

In a competitive world such as ours, you can never settle. You must learn how to negotiate better!

You always have to think big, aim big and negotiate big. 

And guess what. You just joined Neil Armstrong’s ghost on the moon!

4. In negotiating, you receive but you must give

Like the famous and beloved character Joey Tribbiani  from F.R.I.E.N.D.S said, “Life is all about giving and receiving”. And he couldn’t be more right.

Imagine you send a proposal to a customer and he asks for a discount, for the sake of simplicity let’s say 15 percent discount. Simply saying yes sends a horrible message to the opposition; because it actually means your original price was too high (Yes that’s what they will always think).  

Whenever you make a concession, ensure that you are always receiving something in return. Maybe you will eventually concede the 15 percent discount, but your time to deliver or even the leniency will be stretched.. 

This is so important because you use this exact same theory when you are on the opposite side, that is when you are the buyer of the product. You shouldn’t say something silly like “I need you to give me a straight 15 percent discount.” Say it more professionally like  “I can only afford to pay you an extra of $X if only in return you can give me a quicker delivery for the next five months.

That way you’re not just thinking about winning or losing; you’re meticulously discovering common ground by finding terms that benefit both parties.

This is why, in the United Nations, countries always give something in return for something else. They reduce tariffs on imports for an elimination of quotas on exports and send foreign loans but only to be paid more money further into the future.

You have to keep in mind that Unilateral concessions are always self-defeating. Whenever you give something away, you have to get something worthwhile in return. 

You will always have to tie a string: “I’ll do this for you if you do that for me.” 

If not, then you are inviting the opposition to ask you for additional concessions from their behalf. When you provide them with something without requiring them to reciprocate, they will most definitely feel entitled to your concession, and won’t be satisfied until you give up even more, and more, and more, and so the cycle of defeat goes on.

However, if they have to earn your concession, they will derive a greater sense of satisfaction than if they got it for nothing.

Yes, it’s simple enough, but extremely effective. 

Bear in mind that giving into a concession isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness. Most of the time, a concession is more important to one side than another.

For example, in a negotiation for a land, a closing date could be more important to a seller than a buyer. So a skilled buyer (yes that could be you my friend) might concede the date in order to gain leverage elsewhere. If you bear the knowledge that the price will fall in the middle, conceding strategically can help you walk away with a better deal. Think of it like a game of chess. You lose some pieces, but for what? To eventually checkmate your opponents.

In reality, most negotiations are actually integrative, which means that the size of the pie that everyone wants can expand through concessions by each party. Seasoned and well-prepared negotiators plan to make strategic concessions, and they always have a Plan B to move from their original positions. An actual win in this scenario is a fair deal that provides value to both you and the opposition alike.

5. Know when to say NO in negotiation

However, if the negotiation is not going your way, I quote the judges on this one, “You have the right to walk away”.

This is often termed as Brodow’s Law. In other less complicated words, never negotiate without options.

If you depend too much on the positive result of a negotiation, you lose your right to say NO. And trust me, that’s a right you never want to lose anywhere in life.

When you make peace with yourself and decide beforehand that, “I will walk away from the negotiation if I can’t come up with a deal that is satisfactory,” the other side will know that you mean business. Your resolve and confidence will force them to make concessions. They will bow down to the king that is you!

Negotiators often ask me, “if you could give me one piece of advice about the art of negotiation, what would it possibly be?” the correct answer, without any sort of hesitation, should be “Always have the right to say NO and walk away.”

However, note that I am not advising you to walk away, no no and definitely no!

But if you don’t have the option of walking away in your arsenal of tools, you may be inclined to cave in to the opposition’s demands simply to make a deal that doesn’t satisfy you. 

If you are not actually  desperate – if you realize that you have other options – the opposition will sense the inner strength that resides within you.

However, that’s not always possible to accomplish. For example, If your delivery vehicle has broken down in the middle of the road and you need to make deliveries within today, walking away from the truck rental counter isn’t really an option for you anymore. So yes, it depends.

But bear in mind that that’s a practical need, not an emotional need. In most of the cases, your need is actually emotional: You want this car; you want this land; you want this salary. Even though you have many other options, you want this one.

When you’re negotiating, NEVER “want” this one — at least not unless the price, terms, etc., are exactly what you want as well ( those of you who love economics clearly know the huge difference between wants and needs).

But now the question arises, how will you know? Well the answer is pretty simple; just decide those things ahead of time. Know your information. Know the terms you’re willing to negotiate . Know the price of what you’re getting and what it means to you — and of what you will provide to the opposition.

The best way to be a seasoned negotiator is to take the constant emotion out of the equation. When it’s objective — when it doesn’t feel personal anymore to you — you won’t get hung up on only winning or losing. You’ll just calmly and consistently work toward getting the best deal you can.

And this means, oddly enough, you’re much, much more likely to “win”

Final Thoughts

We just gave you the tools you need in order to learn how to negotiate and learn the art of negotiation.

In any negotiation, just like in any relationship, you must think of the wants and needs of both parties in order to make better decisions.

Yes, you have what you want, and you’ll never stop to get what you want, but that goes the same for everyone at the other side of the table.

Check out these amazing articles to learn more on how to negotiate:

  1. Forbes: 6 Effective Ways To Get What You Want Now
  2. Medium: How To Get What You Want In A Negotiation
  3. themuse: Negotiation 101: Expert Advice for Getting What You Want

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