How do you negotiate your deal to create wealth
Nothing is more creative—or destructive—than a brilliant mind with a purpose.
You can be as brilliant as you want but at the end of the day it is how you negotiate your deal that make you or breaks you.
As JFK used to say: “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate”
It’s been said that it’s not what you know, but who you know. People do business with people, and it’s essential that you understand this going into any venture. Some of my greatest ideas and projects went nowhere because I didn’t know the right people—yet. More so, complicated deals went ever so smoothly simply because I knew the person in charge. The right connections are indeed paramount.
Let me share with you a few priceless tips in the hope that you’ll learn how one really gets ahead in life and can make things happen
Listen First and Stop Talking
Listening is the single most important life skill in professional and personal relationships. Ernest Hemingway said, “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” It’s sad but true: Most people have their own agenda and are too busy talking (or waiting to talk) to listen to you attentively. If you, unlike most people, can truly listen with empathy, then people will like you—and eventually help you get what you want.
It’s perhaps another paradox, but it works:
When you want something from someone, instead of asking for it, help that person get what he or she wants. If you don’t know what he or she wants, then simply ask: How can I help you? Since so many people are out to only help themselves, when you genuinely seek to help others succeed in attaining their goals and realizing their dreams, you’ll stand out. And those people you genuinely help will in turn fight to help you in succeeding. Help others first, without expecting anything—and the returns will be enormous.
Oprah Winfrey stated, “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”
Professionals, especially of an older generation, tend to have a tough time with authenticity and transparency in the workplace. People, especially men, tend to have a tough time being vulnerable, especially with people they don’t know well. Many also aren’t sure how much to reveal online, or at work, or to people they’ve just met. But, hard as these choices may be, authenticity, transparency, and vulnerability all breed trust. And when people trust you, they’ll do anything for you. Open up to people and take a chance —you’ll be rewarded.
Tell, Don’t Sell
As important as it is to listen and help others, in order to get what you want, you’ve eventually got to tell people what that is. Nobody wants to be sold to—so, whether it’s a product, service, idea, or yourself that you’re trying to sell—give up on selling. Instead, focus on telling a great story—captivating your audience, bringing to life what the future will bring, and painting a great picture of what will happen if you get what you want. When you get good at storytelling, people want to be a part of that story—and they want to help others become part of that story too.
Inject Passion Everywhere
Passion is contagious, but so is lack of passion. If you’re not passionate about what you’re talking about, why should someone else care? If you want something, you must be more excited and dedicated to it than anyone else. If you’re not passionate about it, maybe it’s not really that important to you. You don’t need to be bouncing off the walls to convince someone of something. You just need to reveal your true passion, in a way that’s genuine for you.
Surprise and Delight Others
This is really very simple. When you surprise and delight others, not only do you make them happy, you remind them that you’re the type of person who might surprise and delight them soon again. Some classic examples: bringing home flowers to your wife for no reason; telling a customer his order will arrive next week but then overnighting it; etc. If you go out of your way to make an experience, especially when people least expect it, you will get huge results over time.
Apologize When You Make a Mistake
Say I’m sorry when you make a mistake and thank you as much as possible. These words are so simple, yet so often people overlook the importance of saying them. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone knows that. It’s not when you make a mistake that’s a problem; it’s when you make a mistake and are too proud or embarrassed to be vulnerable, fess up, and apologize. Just say I’m sorry and let another person forgive you, so you can move on, and eventually get what you want. Conversely, sincere gratitude is a powerful emotion to convey and opens many doors.
As to the Rules of Negotiation… Here are a few priceless tips to avoid if you are really keen on improving your negotiation skills:
Avoid the Word Between
It often feels reasonable—and therefore like progress—to throw out a range. With a customer, that may mean saying: I can do this for between $10,000 and $15,000. With a potential hire, you could be tempted to say: You can start between April 1 and April 15. But that word between tends to be tantamount to a concession, and any shrewd negotiator with whom you deal will swiftly zero-in on the cheaper price or the later deadline. In other words, you will find that by saying the word between you will automatically have conceded ground without extracting anything in return.
“I Think We’re Close”
We’ve all experienced deal fatigue: The moment when you want so badly to complete a deal that you signal to the other side that you are ready to settle on the details and move forward. The problem with arriving at this crossroads, and announcing you’re there is that you have just indicated that you value simply reaching an agreement over getting what you actually want.
A skilled negotiator on the other side may well use this moment as an opportunity to stall, and thus negotiate further concessions. Unless you actually face extreme time pressure, you shouldn’t be the party to point out that the clock is loudly ticking in the background. Create a situation in which your counterpart is as eager to finalize the negotiation (or, better yet: more eager) than you are!
“Why Don’t You Throw Out a Number?”
There are differing schools of thought on this, and many people believe you should never be the first person in a negotiation to quote a price. Let the other side start the bidding, the thinking goes, and they will be forced to show their hands, which will provide you with an advantage. But some research indicates that the result of a negotiation is often closer to what the first mover proposed than to the number the other party had in mind; the first number uttered in a negotiation (so long as it is not ridiculous) has the effect of anchoring the conversation. And one’s role in the negotiation can matter, too. In my experience, the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.
Entrepreneurs often style themselves as frank, no-nonsense individuals, and they can at times have thin skin. But whenever you negotiate, remember that it pays to stay calm, to never show that an absurdly low counter-offer or an annoying stalling tactic has upset you. Use your equanimity to unnerve the person who is negotiating with you. And if he or she becomes angry or peeved, don’t take the bait to strike back. Just take heart: You’ve grabbed the emotional advantage in the situation. Now go close that deal.
After all is said and done, in life you don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.