Master the Art of Negotiation with These 3 Simple Rules

As customers we’re sometimes not very skilled in the art of negotiation. Your average car salesman, insurance agent or mortgage lender is however and that’s why it pays to go into any negotiating situation with a few common sense tools and a little bit of inside knowledge on your side.

Rule #1- Never let the salesperson start the negotiations. It may sound silly but the person who starts any negotiation is usually the person that ends up on the better side of the deal when it’s done. If you let this crucial point slip by you‘ll find yourself constantly trying to amend the number that they want instead of negotiating on the number that you want. Remember, it is you who are making a purchase and it is you who will be spending your money for their product or service.  You control the situation and can simply end it by getting up and leaving.  Never let go of that power and you’ll always be on the winning side of any negotiation.

Rule #2 – Always get whatever you agreed upon in writing and as soon as possible.  No matter what you have negotiated the deal isn’t done until there are signatures from both you and the salesperson, in writing and on a contract.  It seems obvious but many people have put off this crucial step and ended up getting burned when an increase or change was made at the last minute to what they thought was a ‘done deal’.  Do yourself a favor and, once you’re satisfied with price and/or conditions, get them in writing.

Rule #3 – Always keep your cool and never let your emotions get the best of you.  The simple fact is this; you can always walk away. No harm, no foul.  Many things come into play at the negotiating table and emotions, as well as tempers, can be high.  If the amount of money is greater the emotions will be also.  Our best advice?  Keep cool, act authoritatively and make a decision without too much hesitation.  This will show the other side that you mean business and aren’t going to play games.

One final thing to keep in mind is simply this; the person trying to get you to agree with them is probably a nice person, as you are as well.  Respect is as important at the negotiating table as it is in any other facet of our lives.  Be kind, be respectful and be firm.  Do these things and you will always get a great price and feel good about it afterwards.

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