Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How Do You Negotiate?

Negotiation is part of life.  On big-ticket items, such as a house or car, negotiation is expected.  Even on smaller-priced products or services, negotiation is used to determine the best possible terms to ensure both parties get what they want – with some sacrifices.  Of course, some things never get negotiated, such as purchases at department stores or certain corporate brands, like The Gap, Starbucks, or McDonald’s.  But independent stores and service providers such as a lawyer, therapist, or painter can bend their pricing to meet the budgets of potential clients.  So, if negotiation is such a big part of life – including yours as an author – how do you negotiate?

First, begin to realize so much is up for negotiation.  You’ll be working with different vendors – and service providers.  There’s always wiggle room on price – or on what you can receive in exchange for your money.

Second, begin to think like a negotiator.  This means look at where you can ask for changes to someone’s offer and prepare yourself on what you’d like to ask for.

Third, negotiations, though they can get tense, don’t have to be arguments or filled with personal attacks.  It’s just business.  Once you realize it’s all a big game, you warm up to it.

Fourth, in your heart you have to have certain settle points.  This means if someone offers something for $800, you may be willing to settle on $700 – no higher.  Be prepared to walk away when you can’t get what you want.

Fifth, don’t ask for what you really want.  Ask for more!  You either will be pleasantly surprised to get it all or you’ll be given a counter-offer that more closely matches your true settle point.

Negotiations come down to price, mainly, but there are other things involved that can be negotiated.  For instance, the service provider can charge the fee they want and you can pay it but demand more service for it.  Or you can merely get the service offered – but at a reduced price.  Sometimes, you can get a little of both.

When negotiating, there are many, many styles that will work.  One is to humanize the situation.  Show them you are a real person, just like them, who has needs, desires, and challenges to overcome.  For you, however, if you hear a sob story from others, disconnect from the emotional side and don’t let it influence you.  All that matters is if they can give you what you want.  They won’t do anything they can’t or don’t want to do.

Remember, you are worth what you are asking for.  Our society embraces capitalism, competition, and negotiation because we believe if we can create value, we should be paid accordingly.

Lastly, when negotiating, you need to realize that the other side could resort to lies, false allegations, threats, misrepresentations, and plain old bullshit.  A popular tactic in negotiations is to separate fees and prices.  For instance, if you are buying a car, the dealers will talk about the price of the car and then try to add on bogus fees or talk about financing rates separately. Or, if leasing, they’ll hype up the low monthly payment but downplay the down payment.  Or they’ll throw in mileage fees or other type of charges.  You need to negotiate the entirety so that you hear a bottom line price to things.

Good luck in your negotiations.  Just remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a deal.   You may even end up with a steal.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.

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