There is a common perception in the United States that the set price of an item or service is the final price that must be paid, but this is not always true. Learning how to negotiate effectively could save you money, time and hassle in future negotiations. By following these four simple steps laid out by Communication Professor and master negotiator Teri Resop you can become a master negotiator yourself.
Step 1: Planning
- Research all aspects what you are trying to negotiate. This is essential. Resop says, “planning allows you to get your head wrapped around the subject.”
- Run through hypothetical scenarios you may encounter. For example, when negotiating the price of a car plan anticipate the type so responses the person might have such as “this is a newer car than others on the lot” or “this is the only car of the kind in the direct vicinity.”
- Plan for the emotions of the individual you are negotiating with, both verbal and non-verbal and plan on how to react to them. Determine what you will do if the individual were to get defensive or angry.
Step 2: Perception
- Try and figure out the goals of the other person. Do they want to be right or do they want to look good? This can change how you approach the negotiation as a whole.
- Know your own perception of the topic. When asked about her perception of fair pay, Resop made her thoughts very clear. “My perception of fairness is not up for negotiation,” she said.
Step 3: Position/Power
- Even if you are not, it is important to come across as confident. This comes with knowing what you want and how to get there.
- You must be able to maintain a strong poker face. The person you are negotiating with will rarely agree right away. It is important that you never crack under the pressure of intense negotiation.
- Don’t negotiate with yourself. Once you make an offer, wait for the other person to counter. Do not keep listing offers without hearing what the other person could give you in return.
Step 4: Performance/Persistence
- Make an offer, and then stay quiet. This allows the other party to think about it. The silence also puts the other party under pressure to give a response.
- Be ready to walk away if the response is not what is acceptable. There is always the option to take a step back, and not conclude right away. Take a break and regroup another time.
- Don’t be overly aggressive when communicating with the other party. Keep it light. Allow them to negotiate with you.
Negotiation isn’t all about one party winning. Resop believes both can win. The win/win situation happens when one party is able to make the biggest profit and the other gains the largest value. Following these four simple steps will allow yourself to be a master negotiator.
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