Successful negotiation requires both skill and art. Negotiating skills are necessary not just in the boardroom for business but also for many real life situations. You can negotiate just about anything, from your employment contract to your telecom carrier to your newest find at the flea market.
Some of the best negotiators are children. Watch them well and learn. Children will negotiate almost anything and in most cases, get what they want. As you grow older, the drive to negotiate seems to die a little. Wake up your inner child and get back negotiating if you want to save some money.
Anyone can learn to negotiate successfully. When two parties want something the other can give, you have a higher probability of negotiating successfully.
Always decide on what your breakpoint is. This is the lowest you can go if you are the seller and the highest you can go if you are the buyer. Know what your limits are before you start bargaining. This way, you know when to stop and walk away if you have to.
If in case you are negotiating on someone's behalf, make sure that the breakpoint is established beforehand, preferably in writing. Your idea of a good deal may not be the same as the person you are representing. So be sure to get baselines in writing.
If you're negotiating an employment contract, know what you are worth. You should also know what the salary rates are like in your industry, experience and position. Have printouts ready. These will make backing-up your claims much easier. Always keep yourself informed. Do not go to the bargaining table without information.
If you feel a dislike for negotiating, stop. You don't have to feel that you are taking advantage of the other party. Bargaining is a game to be played and if you want to come out the winner, you had better start putting those feelings aside. The beauty of negotiation is that both parties will get what they want once they come to an agreement. Both buyer and seller come out winners. So get over your dislike of negotiating and start bargaining.
Don't be too interested. If a seller sees that you are visibly excited about a product or item, the price goes up automatically. If you don't want the prices jacked up, keep your interest contained. Play it cool. You may still get the item at a price you can live with but it will be higher than what the seller would have let the item go for.
Be prepared to walk away. Some deals just can't be made. If you're not prepared to meet the seller's demands and he isn't willing to come to a reasonable compromise, walk away. In many cases, especially for hard to dispose items, once the seller sees you are serious about not getting the item, the price can lower quite dramatically. You may get the item at the price you set or you may get the item at a slightly higher price. If you get it at a higher price, be sure to ask for a little extra item or service. You may not get what you asked for but it can't hurt to ask.
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