The Numbers Game
How good are you at math? Bob Sullivan, author of Stop Getting Ripped Off (http://stopgettingrippedoff. net/), argues that many Americans are terrible at math, and that is one of the reasons they get raw deals...
Sullivan finds that even people with college degree have problems with certain mathematical skills. He writes: “most college graduates (and in fact, most adults who held advanced degrees, too), were unable to answer a question asking test-takers to calculate interest payments on a home equity loan. Only 1 in 5 test-takers of any stripe could handle the question, which simulated the most basic task a home-buyer faces when trying to select a mortgage.”
Math skills are crucial in any business negotiation. We aren’t talking about advanced calculus, we are talking about good arithmetic and algebra skills that can help you to understand the numbers you are being asked to negotiate on.
Negotiators who are dealing with price/cost and value issues need to be extremely careful with the numbers. What if the packaging changed on a product, and it is being offered at a better price. Are you able to figure out if you are still getting the same deal as before?
Although most negotiators are not accountants, it is important to be able to make the numbers add up correctly. It is easy to mess up under pressure or because you weren’t paying enough attention. Dr. Chester Karrass advises us to go slow and double-check all numbers to avoid making dumb (and costly) mistakes. If possible, have someone else check the numbers too. The person you are negotiating with is not necessarily going to point out a mistake.
Have you ever made a math mistake during a negotiation that cost you? Please share your numbers gone wrong stories.
If you are looking to take your negotiation skills to the next level from the comfort of your own home, check out our virtual negotiation programs. How would you like to give the other person a concession without giving away anything of tangible value? It’s easy...Read More
If you are looking to take your negotiation skills to the next level from the comfort of your own home, check out our virtual negotiation programs. Success in negotiation starts with understanding what kind of negotiation you are dealing with...Read More