Power Negotiating Crash Course: A Few Tricks that Can Save You A Fortune In Minutes

Written by Scott February 23, 2010

Secrets of Power Negotiating
by Roger DawsonSuccess Rating: 4
Buy Secrets of Power Negotiating at Amazon
Why I Read this Book: Negotiating is a part of most all of our experiences. Not knowing the basic strategies is leaving big money on the table.

Review:
Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, recommends this book as the only one ever needed on negotiating. Given that learning to negotiate is one of my 2010 goals, the timing was perfect. Dawson makes a claim very early on in the book: Using just one of his techniques will pay for the cost of the book many times over within the first few days. In my case he made good on this within less than a day.

 

I was only a couple chapters into the book and I found myself in a negotiating situation with a vendor so I thought this might be the perfect time to try some new tricks. The price I was quoted was $900 and to be honest, I thought it was pretty fair. But why not see what I could do. Within 2 conversations and a total of about 15 minutes, we had agreed upon $700 and he was happy about it (as of course was I!). So Dawson’s book paid for itself more than eight times over in a matter of minutes and I had barely started to read it. For those of you not into math, that’s about $800/hour for my negotiating services. I think I’ll take that!

 

The ideas are super invigorating because they make so much sense and we have seen them work on us and others so many times in the past. Such an easy read too. Every chapter closes with a summary of the top few key takeaways (I still can’t understand why every book doesn’t do that). This is a must read for anyone in the business of making deals–oh wait, that just might apply to all of us. Who says a deal isn’t made with your spouse over who’s cleaning the house or your next trip or for some extra avocado on your favorite lunchtime sandwich? There is not a part of life where negotiating doesn’t fit.

 

Here are a few of the most useful tools I found. Using these alone in your next negotiation will likely make a world of difference.

 

1. Make them feel they’ve won: Always leave someone feeling good about the deal and avoid confrontation. Whether it’s throwing in something extra or accepting his counter offer since you already asked for more than you expected to get (see below). Or maybe throwing in an extra service. Negotiating for win/win or at least perceived win/win is the foundation from which Dawson’s strategy is built.  A good negotiation is one in which both sides leave satisfied. This was not intuitive to me at first.

 

2. Gasp or flinch at the first price: No matter how you actually feel about the first offer, having a visibly negative reaction will immediately get the other side at least slightly closer to feeling they should “work with you”. The majority of people are visual when it comes to what they believe. This even works over the phone.

 

3. Be a reluctant buyer or seller: Even if the first price you’re offered is way better than you expected, always appear reluctant. You’re  not only likely to get a better deal but scarcity or “playing hard to get” almost always makes something more desirable. We are subconsciously programmed this way.

 

4. The one with the most information wins: This is the case in every walk of life. The more you know about your opponent the more confidence you have and the more likely you are to appeal to their needs and find a win/win that allows you a victory. Do your research on a company or person before engaging. Even if it’s just doing a quick google search or jumping on their Facebook page.

 

5. Don’t let them know you have the authority to make a decision: Always have someone above you with whom you must discuss before committing. This will keep the other side from pressuring you into a deal on the spot and having a larger more general entity to turn to such as a board or committee allows you to play a little good cop bad cop if necessary.

 

6. Ask for more than you expect to get: This raises the perceived value of what you’re offering, gives you plenty of wiggle room and who knows, you might just get it.

 

7. Congratulate your opponent when the negotiation is over: No matter what this will leave them feeling better than if you don’t do it. Again the key is to get the other side feeling good about what’s happened while you still get what you want.

 

8. Just ask: This is the biggest one of all. The money the average person leaves on the table must be in the thousands per year just for one simple reason. They are not willing to step out of their comfort zone and ask. They’re too scared or feel that something just is not negotiable. Well I have news for you. Everything is negotiable. I rarely pay full price for anything. Whether it’s meat at the local market or a shirt at the mall. There is almost always a deal out there waiting for the person who has the courage to ask for it. That’s often all it takes. No skill whatsoever. Just ask!

So much of success, no matter how you define it, often comes down to using your time in the best way available. These tools are simple. Almost obvious. And when any one or a combination are put to work, you are likely to see returns on your time many fold what you put in. Not to mention your pocket book will surely be all the fatter for getting out on a limb. That’s where the fruit usually is anyway isn’t it? Get on out there. Just outside of what feels comfortable. Have some fun and grab yourself some fruit! I trust you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what’s ripe for the taking.

What’s been your most successful negotiation? How much did it save you? Anything you’ve learned from in the past that you’ll be sure not to repeat? Share with us and let’s take negotiating to the next level.

~Reading for Your Success

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