12 Tips On The Fine Art Of Negotiating
Almost everything is negotiable these days. Good negotiating is one of the most valuable life skills you can develop.
1. Research prices: Compare prices and know your alternatives. The more you know, the more power you have. Show the alternatives to your adversary.
2. Ask questions: Ask for a discount. It never hurts to ask.
3. Be polite: Haggling must always be friendly. Smile and be upbeat. As soon as the process gets rude, you lost it.
4. Go up the food chain: If the person you’re dealing with can’t/won’t help, ask (nicely) for a manager.
5. Shop locally: Local owned stores can offer better pricing advantages than national chains.
6. Don’t insult the purchase: Don’t ask for a discount while implying that the product is inferior.
7. Point out flaws: While you shouldn’t disparage an item, you can point out its’ flaws or imperfections. Ask for a discount for the problem.
8. Play the “good customer” card: Let your adversary know that you’re a loyal customer or point out that you’re buying several items.
9. Don’t give ultimatums: Don’t say “Take it or leave it.” Explain your budget ceiling gently. Remember you are trying to create a win-win.
10. Relax: Stop thinking it’s rude to ask for a discount. A smaller profit margin is better than no sale at all.
11. Negotiate with pride: Haggling doesn’t make you a cheapskate, it makes you a wise shopper. Don’t pay full price today for something that will be on sale tomorrow. Negotiating works about half the time, but the savings add up quickly.
12. Be willing to walk: If the price doesn’t meet your expectations and you can live without it, walk away.
Remember that the first offer or asking price doesn’t matter. Only the last price or offer matters (the number at which $1 more will make the buyer walk away or $1 less will make the seller walk away). A good negotiator wants to get to that number. It takes a friendly communication style to get there. If one of the parties gets insulted too quickly, emotionally wrapped up in their number, or digs their heels in the sand with inflexibility, it will be difficult to continue the conversation.