Negotiation Pro Says: Leave Them Feeling They Made A Great Deal!


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How effective are you when you’re negotiating?

Perhaps you're like the young couple that sets out for the local car dealership. They want to spend no more than $12,000.

They see a sticker price within a few thousand of that and they start negotiating.

The dealer won’t budge, but he asks: “Do you have a trade-in?”

Yes, it’s been in a recent crash on the freeway, but still drivable. To them, it’s ugly.

To the dealer, it’s a little nugget of gold.

He knows he can get at least $6,000, just by selling it for parts, so he offers them $3,500. That’s more than a used car lot offered, so they figure, when you add up everything, even if they pay close to the sticker price for the new car, they’re doing slightly better than their $12,000 budget seemed to permit.

Everybody’s happy. The dealer made TWO good deals, and the customers think they made one good one and one average one.

That’s typical. Dealers always try to bundle two deals, simultaneously. That way, they can seem generous with one, and hold the line with the other.

Still, they profit, nicely.

But most important, they leave customers thinking THEY’RE THE ONES WHO ARE SMART NEGOTIATORS, THAT THEY CAME OUT AHEAD.

That winning feeling will make them come back again and again, and they’ll even boast about their haggling abilities to their friends.

When you negotiate anything, it pays to make it seem to your counterparts that they did really well.

But this has to appear genuine and “earned. ”

When I decided to buy a Rolex watch, I contacted a childhood friend who was in the jewelry business. She ordered what I wanted, recited a price, and having researched its retail value, I said “Okay, ” without fanfare, and I felt it was a good deal for both of us.

A few months later, at a social occasion, she remarked to me with no little consternation, “I lost my you-know-what on that deal!”

That struck me as a phony statement. I didn’t openly bargain, at all, but she made it sound as if I extracted the price from her at the point of a gun.

In retrospect, I think she was trying to make me feel I got a great deal, but she went about it in a crass way that made her lose credibility.

Only if there is some WORK that you have to do will you feel you EARNED a “bargain. ” That’s why there is so much back-and-forth at the car dealership, where the salesman has to check with his manager, multiple times behind closed doors, while keeping you in suspense.

Often, he’s just out of sight, passing time, sipping coffee, so you’ll feel you’re making progress and earning your discount. The more you are made to struggle, the sweeter the ultimate concessions will seem to be, and the less you’ll feel, after you drive away in style, that they took advantage of you.

Of course, this all springs from basic human nature.

We appreciate what we have to work for much more than what is merely handed to us. Also, our egos crave gratification, the feeling that we’re smart, that we matched wits with the pro’s, and we at least held our own.

If they can make us feel we really took advantage of them, we’ll come running back to them time and again!

Now, that takes real negotiation skill, don't you agree?

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 1,000 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered “The Gold Standard" in negotiation, sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: .


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