The Negotiating Table

We know a gentleman who’s bought and sold businesses for years. He closes a deal about every ninety days. He said that every time he buys, he feels like he paid too much. Conversely, when he sells, he always feels that he didn’t get enough.

Negotiating is a nerve-wracking process – whether it’s for a job, a car, a loan, or anything else!

So today, we’ll serve up some delicious tips for negotiating your next deal. Think of it as a three-course meal – an appetizer, the main course, and dessert.

There are two things to keep in mind before we get to our three courses.

  • Know what you want. What are your taste buds craving? What’s your ideal deal? Have a clear picture of this before you start.       
  • Ask for what you want. It may not be on the menu. Ask for it anyway. You never know – the chef might be able to whip it up for you!

Appetizers
You won’t get filled up at this stage, but you will get a taste of what’s to come. During this course, you’re feeling things out. What are they looking for from you? What might they offer?

Will you be working together long-term if this deal is consummated? If so, focus on building the relationship. Look for win / win. And keep this in mind – if they like you, you may get a better deal.

Try to determine how much leverage you have. Why do they want to do this deal? How badly do they want it? Do they have to do it? Who’s in a stronger position – you or them?

Be careful not to put too much on the table during this course. For example, you’ll save things like your price and terms for the next course.

Main course
You may walk away before you get to this course. If you’re still interested, here’s a caveat. Negotiations often stall here. So if you like what you’re hearing, find ways to keep things moving along.

If you get stuck on a point, set it aside and come back to it later. Maybe if you chew on something else, this will be more appetizing later.

Don’t lose sight of the bigg picture because you’re trying so hard to win a point. You may get a morsel but lose the meat!

You shouldn’t concede unless they do so as well. This sets the tone you want. For example, let’s say you’re negotiating your salary. Maybe they can’t quite pay you what you want, but they are willing to give you some additional time off. You may accept that trade-off.

Dessert
You may decide you don’t want dessert – you know you can’t come to terms. But assuming you decide to stay, you’re ready to negotiate all the details. That’s one reason this course can be the most nerve-wracking of all. Plus you’re getting closer to actually committing.

You probably won’t feel fully satisfied at the end. Be happy if they’re equally unhappy!

Ultimately, they may reject your offer or you may turn them down. In either case, what are your options? Keep them open so you have a back-up.

What techniques do you use at the negotiating table?
Share them with us by leaving a Comment below.

Our bigg quote is by John F. Kennedy. We’re sure he had loftier ideas when he said this, but it’s still appropriate.

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

So, enter every negotiation knowing that, you don’t have to do it, but don’t be afraid to do it.

In our next blog, we’ll answer a question from a member who wants to know if she should keep her job or buy a franchise. Hopefully by then, we’ll be recovered from this bigg meal! Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Related post

Should You Count On Your Counter-Offer 

6 replies
  1. Dave
    Dave says:

    Always to extensive research on the company you are interviewing with. Know what they need so you can convince them they need you. This will give you an edge.

    Reply
  2. julie
    julie says:

    I always dread the pressure of negotiating. I’ll keep this little 3-course-meal concept in mind next time. The idea of food is calming! Thanks!!

    Reply

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