Negotiating in Life September 3, 2013

Negotiating with a Friend or Relative—Three Approaches to the Problem

There is an old Russian saying, “The best way to lose a friend is by bargaining with him.” Those who have done so can testify how difficult it is to deal with friends or relatives.

A good example is a friend of mine who retired to Florida. He was selling his home in New York and decided to dispose of the furnishings. Before doing so, he offered them to his two nephews and his niece. The relatives, married and in their late twenties, were interested in some pieces but not all. Like others their age, they had little money. Each dealt with the uncle in a different way.

The first used an “arm’s length” approach. He negotiated with the uncle as though he were a stranger. This resulted in hard feelings because the uncle, though he was fond of the nephew, resented being put into a bargaining position. It proved uncomfortable for both of them.

The second nephew took another tack. He said to his uncle, “You put a price on the item and I’ll pay that price.” Oddly enough, the old man also felt uncomfortable with this seemingly fair arrangement. The problem was how to put a value on used furniture and bric-a-brac, some of which was quite expensive, without appearing to take advantage of a family member. The uncle was not wealthy and was torn between charging what he thought was a fair market price and letting his nephew enjoy a bargain. It placed the uncle in an awkward position.

The niece used another approach. After deciding which pieces of furniture she wanted, she shopped around to determine what the articles were worth. She then placed a price on each item, explaining to the old man what she was willing to pay in terms of her budget. After committing to purchasing the articles at the stipulated prices, she urged the old man to put them up for sale for whatever the market would bear.

In the end, the niece did best in terms of maintaining good relations and purchasing what she could at prices she could afford. The old man was pleased because he retained the discretion to sell or not sell selected pieces to outside customers. The niece’s approach permitted the pressures of price, needs, financial resources, friendship, generosity and the market place to reach their own level in a gracious yet businesslike way.

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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