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Negotiating Skills , Intermediate Level

Updated on July 26, 2012

The next level

If you read my previous article,"Negotiating Skills for Beginners", you know that negotiating begins when you ask, "Can you do any better on that price?". I once used that cliche with a five dollar pair of water skis. I asked the junk shop proprietor,"Can you do any better on that price?". "Why don't I just give them to you?", he replied. I said thanks and left with the shop with the skis. As I look back on that incident, I think he was being sarcastic but after I thanked him profusely and started to leave with the skis, he was embarrassed to do anything other than say good bye to me and his skis.

A smart negotiator will almost always ask you to make an offer.

Since negotiating is part of the buying process, lets talk about the power of cash. Cash is beautiful. If you are buying something that you can pay cash for, remember the movie,"Jerry McGuire" and show me the money.

Let's suppose that you are looking at a $5000 used item. Reach in your pocket. Take out four thousand dollars in green cash and ask, "Can I buy it for this?" That is powerful medicine. This is much more powerful than just a question,"Will you take $4000?". Show the money to the seller. This is so powerful. Mr Seller does not have to worry that maybe you don't have the money. This is very powerful. Use the power of cash if you can.

Use the power of silence. You don't have to talk. Just admire that widget you are trying to buy. Look at it. touch it. admire it. remain silent. If it is a car, sit behind the wheel. If it is a motorcycle, sit on it. If it is a house, sit on the porch swing. Let the seller know that you respect it.

With many items like antique cars and motorcycles and jewelry and homes, the seller wants to know that his precious possession is going to a new owner that will respect it and love it the way he has. Even if they are selling it because they need the money, they don't want to sell their possession to someone that doesn't really appreciate it. Show respect. If they like you, they will get the price right for you. They will not get the price right for someone that doesn't understand.

As you look at items that are for sale, always ask permission to crank a car or sit on a motorcycle or pick up an antique or a gun. Many times potential buyers annoy sellers by not showing this small respect. Once the seller is annoyed, it is hard to negotiate a low price. The seller is annoyed.

In negotiating, it is imperative that the other party likes you. Do not do anything to annoy the other party. Don't tell them that they are crazy or stupid if they think anyone would pay the outrageous price they are asking or sell the item that cheap. Once they don't like you, it is hard to get them get the price right for you.

Work at being sure the other party likes you. Be pleasant. This would seem like common sense. Many people get adversarial when trying to negotiate. It doesn't work as well as friendly. If they like you and they know you like their possession, they will be easier to deal with.

Don't try to negotiate in a hurry. It is a slow process. If you are in a hurry, just pay more. When you are going to look at an item, like a used boat, that always requires negotiating, don't have another appointment fifteen minutes later. Allow some time. It takes time to go through the negotiating process. This is not always true but always allow time for it.

Don't be in a hurry to negotiate. Once you have struck a deal and the item is yours, do be in a hurry to pay for your item and get it home. If you are buying a used car or boat, take the cash with you. Here is why. If you are looking at a 19,000 car, you offer the owner 16,000. He agrees to the price. You give him a small deposit and agree to pick it up tomorrow. Later on, someone else comes by and offers him $ 17,000. He sells it to them. An ethical person would not do that but don't depend on the ethics of a stranger. Pay for and get it home as quickly as possible. As Yogi Berra says, " It ain't over until it is over.".

Negotiating is a great skill to learn. The cool thing is every time you do negotiate for something, it is a learning experience. As you watch what the other party does, you learn a little bit more. Even if you have to pay more than you wanted to for an item,you learned a little bit. You get better every time you buy or sell something. Before you know it, you realize you are a pretty good negotiater.

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