There are two things in life, whether you are willing to admit to or not, we do, every day in some way; we sell and we negotiate.

You can yell and scream and argue all you want, but, yes Virginia we sell and negotiate something every day. It might be with your spouse or your kids; it might be in asking your boss for a raise or then again it might be a billion dollar business deal. Nonetheless, we are a society of salespeople and negotiators and some of us are better at it than others.

The good news is that both sales and negotiation are skills that can be learned. However, both can also be very complicated, detailed, stylized and intricate and can take a very long time to master. I’ve learned over the years and as a Master Business Coach,  that the best approach in helping clients effectively learn, is to break things down to basic elements and build from that point. Forget about fancy strategies, a person must clearly understand the basic principles first..

I’ve had the pleasure to study nearly everything published on negotiation including books, seminars, audio, magazine articles and more. Through all of this information, I’ve boiled the basics down to ten steps. These ten steps will serve you well in most any form of negotiation, large and small.

  1. KNOW YOUR GOAL: What exactly do you want to happen in the negotiation? Before setting a foot in the room, you should have a pretty good idea exactly what you want the outcome to be.
  2. CLEARLY ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT: Be very clear and concise about saying what it is you want. Lay it out clearly and simply from the beginning, up front. Never beat around the bush. Just say it. Establish your intent otherwise, nothing will happen.
  3. CLEARLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR OPPONENTS WANT: Shut up and listen! It’s just as important, if not key for you, to specifically understand your opponent’s wants and needs in this conversation.
  4. UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE WILLING TO GIVE UP, TO GET WHAT YOU WANT: Never begin a negotiation conversation with your bottom end offer. If you do, you have nowhere to go. The key is to clearly decide ahead of time exactly what you will give up to achieve your goal.
  5. DON’T RUSH: Slow down, take a deep breath and take it easy. The person under the greater time constraint will usually be at a grave disadvantage. So plan to spend some time getting YOUR deal done!
  6. LISTEN CLOSE: Your opponent will, many time, tell you how to close the deal or come to an agreement if you just shut up and actively listen. What researchers have found, and from my personal experience a lower price is seldom the issue. But, if you quickly drop the price most opponents will certainly take it. Listen, JUST….LISTEN!
  7. IT’S NOT A NEGOTIATION UNLESS BOTH SIDES GIVE SOMETHING UP: If you concede on an issue, you should expect your opponent to also give something up. So, it’s absolutely OK to ask for something in return. In fact, it’s IMPERATIVE!
  8. THERES NO SUCH THING AS A FINAL OFFER: If your opponent says that he is making his final offer, listen then keep talking, there’s always something else that can be done if it’s not completely right for you.
  9. BE READY TO WALK: Don’t get backed into an agreement that you don’t want. You’ll regret it for a very long time if you allow this to happen. Then at some time in the future the bubbling bad feelings are sure to emerge.
  10. CONSIDER THE LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP IMPACT: Marty Latz of the Latz Negotiation Institute says, “Many of us have a tendency to get so caught up in competitive negotiation dynamics that we lose sight of our goals, even If the goals include a long term relationship with our counterparts.” So be nice, know your goals and get a WIN-WIN deal done rather than winning with a WIN at ALL COSTS attitude. Because, your win might just cause you to lose more down the road!

Put these foundational negotiation principles to work for you today and feel better and get more out of every deal you do.  If you need some help and assistance be sure to call or write me. I’m an expert in helping you be a better negotiator. That’s what I do and I’m open for business.


Coach Dan 

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