Negotiate to Win

By Cindy Waxer

Many sales professionals rush to the bottom line during negotiations, rather than carefully utilizing their negotiation skills for maximum benefit. Al Auger, an expert in commercial real estate developing, investing, and financing and author of Pure Profits: Pinpoint Winning Properties, Think Like an Investor, and Succeed in Commercial Real Estate (Cameo Publications, 2002) suggests following these negotiation strategies to achieve favorable results.

Know what you want and what you will accept.
Prior to any negotiation, clearly define all the terms you are willing to accept and the conditions under which you will accept them. Let the negotiation progress from there, knowing the negotiation will be moving in the desired direction.

Make a realistic offer.
Savvy negotiators build the reputation of being fair players. They know that consistently giving unrealistic offers makes them appear less than honorable – and that doing so limits the number of contracts they are able to close.

Listen to the other party’s feedback.
As the other party responds to your contract requests, ask questions and listen to the answers. Asking and listening, instead of talking, are important because if you listen the other party will always hand you the keys to getting the transaction done. All you have to do is sit back, listen – and act on what is said.

Don’t make it a price negotiation.
Stress factors other than price during negotiations, such as warranties, follow up, delivery dates and any other items that are important to the deal. When people understand all they are getting for their money, the final price won’t be as much of an issue.

Observe body language.
Watching the movements of the other party can disclose a great deal about the words they say. You also can use your body language to communicate with your partner in a transaction. So if you feel the negotiation is going poorly, you can both agree to call it quits with the other party without ever speaking a word to each other.

Believe in co-authorship to win.
Get everyone involved in the authorship of the contract. Offer to start with your standard contract to get things going and then allow for a follow-up discussion on any changes the other party wishes to make.