Five Ways to Win Your Next Negotiation

Five Ways to Win Your Next Negotiation

If your customer is better at negotiating than you are, they have the advantage.

Consider this: how well trained is your customer in negotiating compared with how well trained you are? If there’s a gap in your skill and knowledge, you can’t negotiate the best deal for all concerned.

You can’t naively assume they’re acting in your best interest.

Years ago, I co-wrote Guerrilla Negotiating with Jay Conrad Levinson (Mr Guerrilla Marketing) and Orvel Ray Wilson to help business execs keep more margin by countering the tactics that customers routinely use.

It’s the antidote to all of the dirty tricks they play.

When negotiating, you need five elements in play for it to go your way:

1) Walk away power

If you’re forced to take what you can get when up against a strong negotiator, you’ll get what they decide you’ll take. When you can walk away, you control what you can settle for.

2) Intel

The best prepared party knowing about the other party’s situation is at a strong advantage to detecting bluffs and knowing where there is leverage. Without intel, you’re shooting in the dark.

3) A Deadline

Whoever has the farthest out deadline, or can set a deadline for the other party, controls timing. No deadline, no deal.

4) Both parties want to keep the deal

If either party doesn’t want to do the deal, it falls apart, sooner rather than later. The best test: would you both do this deal on a handshake? If the answer is no, it probably won’t hold up even with a contract. That said, written agreements are a must; for well meaning people with poor memories, and to communicate the deal to players that join in later.

5) Nothing is settled until everything is settled

You can opt to re-negotiate an agreed upon point if your counterpart makes an ask that won’t fly unless you have other, settled concessions. Just because you signed a letter of intent doesn’t mean that everything isn’t negotiable

If you’re missing any of these five elements, you’re at a substantial disadvantage in any negotiation.


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