THE KEY TO NEGOTIATING… DON’T NEGOTIATE!

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Negotiating is a skill which is becoming more and more of a necessity in life, business and in ‘stiff upper lip’ proud Britain. Us Brits aren’t typically known for our love of negotiating (or indeed are we typically good at it!) but as bored as I am of this reference, we are now residing in ‘tough economical times’ and everyone should want and appreciate a ‘good deal’. The boom is over, we need to adapt our approach… not compromising but still having luxury in our lives, just without the carefree price tag.

Negotiation hasn’t always come naturally to me, I was once in a fabulous treasure trove of a shop in the infamous Brighton Lanes and spotted the elusive ‘pirates chest’. After nearly two years of searching, it was there, calling my name from the other end of the store, EXACTLY what I had been looking for. I broke free from my now husband, quick stepped up the aisle of the shop and asked the trader how much he wanted for it? ‘One hundred and fifty pounds’ he said, just as I was joined by my husband. They both stood there, waiting with anticipation for the negotiation games to begin and before anyone could speak, excitement took over and I blurted out the words ‘Do you accept Mastercard?!’

That was then and although I still love my pirates treasure chest dearly… this is now.

Negotiation will never be comfortable to me but I have perfected my skills, my confident delivery and even my poker-face. Like the adrenaline experienced after a bungee jump vs. the build up to that point; the satisfaction of getting a good deal, far exceeds the inward discomfort experienced during the process.

I wanted to share my top negotiating tips with you and I wish you every future success in getting yourself a ‘great deal’…

Number 1: the number one skill to negotiating is DON’T NEGOTIATE

If you are selling something, maybe  a product, a service or an idea, get your value proposition identified – what is it worth? Sell to the value of your offering, sell to the recipient’s problem, solve the problem and then name your price.

If you are buying, ask yourself ‘how much do I want to spend?’ and ‘what is the value to me?’  and then confidently tell the other party what you want to spend. NO negotiation!

Number 2: NEVER NEGOTIATE WITH YOURSELF

When buying or selling something, know what you want to spend or make on it and then simply  stick with your price; don’t negotiate yourself down.

Number 3: NEVER ACCEPT THE FIRST OFFER

The other person is, more often than not, always something holding back.

Number 4: NEVER MAKE THE FIRST OFFER

If you can avoid jumping in first, then do (Note to self!). If the other guy makes his first offer, he’s not going to break rule number 2 and you’re not going to break rule number 3!

Number 5: LISTEN MORE, TALK LESS!

We have two ears, two eyes and 1 mouth, which should be used in that order.

Number 6: NEVER GIVE ANYONE A FREE GIFT – make them work for it

No gift, no information, no discount. Today’s gift is tomorrow’s starting price!

Number 7: WATCH OUT FOR THE LAYERING EFFECT

Don’t layer pricing and people won’t be able to pick and choose. Don’t let the other party do it either. Make an offer based on the value you believe something has and go straight back to rule Number 1.

Number 8: AVOID THE BEGINNER’S REGRET

Could I have done better, should I have done better? Answer these three questions before closing a deal;
1. If I am going to give the other party a concession on this deal, what is it really going to cost me?
2. What is this ‘worth’ to the other party?
3. If I now know what it is going to cost me and if I know what it’s worth to the other person then, what do I want in return?

The answer will be preferably of equal cost to them and of equal value to you.

Number 9: NEVER MAKE THE QUICK DEAL

When the other party starts changing the tempo, they’ve either seen a mistake you’ve not noticed or they’ve seen an advantage and want you to sign. Go back to the three questions in rule number 8 and if you see a deal speed up, work out what the value is to them.

Number 10: NEVER DISCLOSE YOUR BOTTOM LINE

NEVER tell anyone what your bottom line was. NEVER tell them how far they could have pushed. Not before, not during and NEVER EVER at the end.

Following these simple rules has helped me in so many ways and now that I know and understand what my true value is, rule number 1 is generally my preferred approach to most things!