Negotiating in Life, Negotiating Tips, Business Negotiation October 1, 2010

How to zero in on the bottom line

A hawk chooses its prey from a distance, focuses on it and then zeroes-in for the kill. In a business negotiation, you want to zero in on what the other party wants or is willing to give (the bottom line). A razor-sharp focus on the bottom line can help lead to success.

How do you zero in effectively on the bottom line? In many cases, to zero in effectively on this information, you will have to test the other party to see how she/he reacts to your offer. Dr. Chester L. Karrass provides a several useful scenarios or approaches you to try out:

Would you consider approach: Ask the seller if he/she would consider a certain price if a condition were met (for instance, including the furniture with the house).

Big order approach: Give a price for a large-scale sale to the seller that reduces the price dramatically. For instance, the seller wanted $15 for a dozen items, and you offer $25 for 6 dozen.

Make an offer that must be refused approach: The buyer offers a too low price to the seller, which he refuses. The seller thinks the buyer can’t afford the item and now feels free to talk about the price. The buyer can come back with the new information.

Better product approach: The seller tests the buyer by showing a better product that is more expensive. If the buyer shows interest, the seller may conclude the buyer has a larger budget that he/she indicated.

Take it or leave it approach: The buyer gives a “final offer” to test the seller.

Some of these approaches may seem a bit underhanded to you. Another very straightforward approach that could work depending on the parties involved is to ask a direct question. Many people will get to the bottom line right away because they would like to get the negotiation over as quickly as possible.

How do you zero in on the bottom line? Please provide a scenario that has worked for you in the comments.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

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INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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