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Success Tips for Negotiating (part 1 of 3)

By Than Merrill

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I believe it is absolutely crucial to your success, both personally and professionally, to negotiate effectively and often. If you want to survive in today’s fast-paced environment, you must understand that first; negotiating is an integral part of living, and second; the quality of your negotiating determines the quality of your life. Whether you are negotiating your very first real estate deal or a first date; there are nine tips that I find separate good negotiators from great negotiators.

Have you ever noticed that some men have a magic touch when it comes to women? They might not be as good-looking but they have a way with words that rivals the better looking guys and allows them to communicate more effectively, allowing them to close the deal more easily and quickly. It is the same level of communication that is required to be great at closing real estate deals. To become a successful negotiator you must become an expert communicator. Listening to the needs of your customer and providing solutions that work out in both parties’ favor is essential. It is my goal to ensure that you become the very best negotiator. In this series, I will teach you nine success tips for negotiating that allow you to negotiate outcomes that are mutually satisfying to both parties. Your first three tips are detailed below in Part 1 of my series, stay tuned for Parts 2 & 3.

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Negotiating Tip #1: Overcoming Fear

Oftentimes, fear inhibits first time negotiators from initiating a negotiation in the first place and keeps more experienced negotiators from achieving their ultimate goals. When I first started negotiating I was terrified. I was afraid of confrontation and rejection. More importantly, I was afraid that what I was asking for wasn’t negotiable. I was wrong! Negotiators of all experience levels should remember when confronted with the fear to negotiate that fear is; False, Evidence, Appearing, Real and should therefore continue with the negotiation and stop fearing what does not in fact exist. It didn’t take me long after overcoming my fear to realize everything is negotiable. Think of yourself as a seasoned negotiator, because you are. You negotiate daily with your spouse, children, friends, and family.

Negotiating Tip #2: Ask Questions

To become a highly successful negotiator you must continually ask questions. When negotiating I think of myself as a detective searching for the answers I need to negotiate a mutual, desirable outcome. I ask questions throughout the negotiation because it allows me to listen. I typically allow my counterpart in any negotiation to talk 70 percent of the time while I talk only 30 percent of the time. By continually asking questions you will allow the other negotiator to tell you everything you will need to know to negotiate effectively. Try it! Asking questions and listening has allowed me to gain more from a negotiation than any other single technique. Moreover, it often times allows me to resolve and avoid many conflicts that might have otherwise presented themselves in the negotiation. By asking questions and listening you are always able to get what you want and allow the other person to feel that they have successfully achieved what they wanted as well.

Negotiating Tip #3: Never make unilateral concessions

The third tip to negotiating successfully is to think about your negotiation as a series of trade-offs and compromises. Your ability to give and take concessions is essential to achieving the goal of mutual agreement. More importantly never give a concession with out making it count. In other words, be sure to assign value to each and every concession you give. A failure to do so is failing to negotiate. If you do not require a reciprocal concession your concession will be perceived to have little or no value. For example, when meeting with sellers, I’m always willing to give them the home’s appliances. But, I never do so without getting something of equal or greater value in return! The appliances are my concession; I equate a value, and use that value to negotiate something I am more interested in such as price, time to close, and access to the property. I gain a negotiating advantage by offering a small concession, then asking for a large concession in return. You will control every negotiation by simply remembering to say “I’ll do this for you, if you do that for me”.


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