Negotiating in Life, Negotiating Tips, Negotiation Strategies April 29, 2008

Negotiating Power Is In Your Head

There is an old expression, "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you are right." This certainly applies to how you approach your negotiations. Your power is in your head.

Much of what happens during a negotiation is influenced by the expectations and pre-conditioning of each party. As we discuss in the Karrass Effective Negotiating Seminar, you are normally more aware of your pressures than the pressures on the other party. You need to discipline yourself to determine what pressures the other party has. And, to what extent you can, precondition the other party to impact their expectations.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times (April 15, 2008) illustrates this issue. The article describes what's happening today with many consumer purchases – things like flat-screen televisions, new furniture, clothes, luggage, etc.

Most of us have preconceived expectations regarding what is possible, and what is not possible, when we see that sale price posted on a new flat-screen television. But, as this LA Times article states, this is changing!

"With jobs getting scarcer, stocks on a roller coaster and economists talking recession, not many people feel like paying full price for, well, anything." Now is the time to try negotiating. "That's right, the age-old tactic more frequently observed in foreign bazaars and rug stores is returning to the malls and Main Street. As stores feel pressured to move merchandise, and consumers feel the pinch of slowing economy, prices are becoming more negotiable."

Negotiating is at an all time high. "Negotiating is more common at independent retailers than big chain stores . . . but that is changing, says Richard Giss, a partner in Deloitte & Touche's consumer business division in Los Angeles."

Obviously when a store permits its salespeople to negotiate prices, it can hurt the bottom line. But, it can hurt the store much more if merchandise ends up sitting around unsold and larger discounts have to be offered to sell it a month from now.

What is the key to taking advantage of this changing climate in the consumer marketplace? You've got to try to negotiate. Don’t let your head tell you it can’t be done.

Remember what we talked about in our Effective Negotiating Seminar. Be prepared to negotiate. Research prices before you start and know what competitors are offering (the power of competition). Use the Web – more and more merchants are agreeing to match the price of something you can purchase on-line.

Be nice (i.e. establish a relationship). Take your time, this assures both you and the merchant have a vested interest in making a deal happen. Ask for information on upcoming discounts, past discounts, special un-advertised discounts, special discounts or coupons they have sent out to other customers, that could be used for this purchase.

Sometimes a merchant may be willing to take off the sales tax. Paying cash, “or pulling out a credit card or checkbook and looking ready to buy on the spot helps too.” Ask for help, “This is all I can spend. What can you do for me?”

Be persistent; but be prepared to walk out (deadlock) “When they say, ‘I can’t do that. I’ll lose money,’ say ‘If I walk out of here, you’ll lose even more money.” As one merchant said, “We don’t want to do it, but we don’t want to lose the business either.”

Don’t make a scene in the store. A merchant is much more likely to offer a price concession if not all the other shoppers in the store hear what is happening. If you are purchasing multiple products (i.e. three pairs of shoes) ask for a discount. If you are a repeat customer, ask for the ‘good customer discount.’ Try a ‘nibble’ – if I buy these, will you give me one of these?

You may be surprised how things have changed – just in the last few months. “One thing is certain: There’s no harm in asking. And shop owners probably won’t be surprised if you ask for a bargain.” These negotiations starts with you – you have to ask!

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.

Mary S.
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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