Tips on Negotiating

By Kathy Scott

What kind of negotiator are you?, a global corporate training firm that specializes in business imperatives, offers a case for four negotiating personalities, though the company admits, most people have skills that cross over the four different styles:

  • Analytical – Breaks contract into separate components negotiating each.
  • Aggressive – Believes in arguing and employing manipulative tactics.
  • Persuasive – Seeks to charm the opposition into getting “people on board.”
  • Inclusive – Feels the need to accommodate all sides, frequently changing proposals.

Some people even change their negotiating style based on the personality of the opposition. But whatever style you identify with, there are still basic points to negotiating that can provide you with a winning side nearly every time.

First, do your research. Be sure to run the Comparable Market Analyses prior to the meeting. Second, don’t get over confident with highly motivated sellers or homeowners that have compelling reasons for a sale such as divorce, foreclosure, job transfer or building a home. No one is likely to “give away” a home no matter what their circumstance.

Anticipate the other side’s objections when you draft a contract, asking for more than your client really wants. This will provide you with room to make concessions, though not too early on, and add to a spirit of cooperation, perhaps getting the other side to more easily concede various points as well.

Don’t talk too much. It is essential to read signals coming from the other side which is not possible when you are consistently making your own points. Whenever possible, ask the other side to provide you with better insight as to why he or she won’t budge on certain issues.

Finally, and probably most importantly, be objective, look at the contract as a whole instead of in parts especially if the bid is close to the asking price.

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