Negotiating Strategies to Create the Best Deal

There are many different styles of negotiating when getting a deal done.  Some of the most useful and realistic ways to approach various scenarios are fairly simple but they can be easy to overlook.  Below are ten strategies that will improve your odds of getting a deal done.

  1. Be confident – The way to become confident in any transaction is to always be prepared.  You will find greater confidence by anticipating issues that could arise in the course of negotiations.  You will need to spend many hours reviewing the material that is important to the deal as well as any related information.
  2. Ask for more than you actually expect to receive – By asking for more than you actually expect to receive, you are establishing a perceived value to the other side that may be beyond actual value.  This concept also provides room to compromise later if you need to do so and still, helps to achieve a transaction that meets your expectations.  By asking for more than you expect, it gives the other side the feeling that they have won a point or two when expectations are lowered.
  3. Be patient but keep a realistic timetable – One of the issues that you will have to keep in mind is the timeframe under which you work.  Deals always take time to complete yet by controlling the timetable you can push the other side as quickly as possible.  It is a good idea to continually give the other side a timeframe that requires certain conditions be met at specified times.
  4. Be personal and let others try to get to know you as a person – It is helpful in negotiations to let the other side get to know you and also for you to get to know them.  This helps to bring things in focus and helps make the negotiations more personal, which can create better lines of communication.
  5. Try not to burn bridges – Emotions will certainly enter the picture at various times during the process.  Do not let emotions play a role and always try to leave the door open if and when negotiations stall because there is usually another opportunity to reopen the door later.
  6. Recognize different personalities – It is not uncommon to deal with others that might test your patience.  Be aware that it is important to be careful in your reactions to the way others try to negotiate.  If you are flexible and do not take things personally, the process is smoothed.
  7. Be honest but firm – Know the facts and do not say something or reveal information that may come back to haunt you.  If you do not know something, say so.  Advise the other side that you will get back to them after you have confirmed the information.  This keeps things in perspective and sometimes helps move the deal along.
  8. Pick your battles – There are times in any negotiation to draw the line and other times to be flexible.  Sometimes others want to draw the line in the sand at an early stage of the negotiation.  Attempt to show them that this is not the time to battle over a certain item that can be dealt with at another time.  Keep the end goal in mind and be careful when picking up your battles.
  9. Do not take shortcuts – In the deal process, others may want to take shortcuts in trying to move to the next step.  Never trust in shortcuts.
  10. Do not be afraid to lighten things up with humor – In all deals there are tense moments that may cause stress to all concerned.  Sometimes the use of appropriate humor helps to lighten the mood and move the process along.

-Bradley G. Marlor MBA, CBI is a Managing Partner at Utah Business Consultants and a Certified Business Intermediary. Utah Business Consultants is a full-service Business Brokerage and Valuation firm.

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