Not only do FBI agents or sports agents need to rely on negotiating tactics, but businesses do as well. The question isn’t whether or not you are negotiating every day in your company, the question is: are you any good at it? Leveraging proven negotiating techniques can put more profit on the table so you can grow your company faster and better than ever before. Don’t lose valuable deals to competitors, offer more than you need to for picky customers, or pay high prices to vendors any longer. Instead, use these proven tactics to negotiate like a pro:
1. The “Flinch” Technique
When you are entering a business deal, whether that is a sales call with a client, a purchase order from a vendor, or even a large-scale merger, you should never accept the first offer they produce. This is always a negotiating measure on their part to see how much they can get. If you say yes to it, you are simply giving away too much leverage.
Instead, when tasked with responding to their initial offer, use the “flinch.” This method is quite simple. You just need to put on a sour face and physically recoil at their offer while voicing your shock at the unfairness of their position. This takes a little acting, but would you rather look a little silly for a few moments to tip the scales in your favor or pay much more than you need to?
2. Best Alternative
The best alternative, also called “walk away from power,” is just what it sounds like. It is having something else that you can go to if this current deal doesn’t work. It is simple in theory, but few businesses actually put the time in to have leverage by getting multiple offers from competitors or partners. When you have the ability to walk away due to having a great alternative, you don’t need to worry about people calling your bluff.
3. Breaking It Down
When you are the one offering something for sale, the tables are turned somewhat. Instead of being the one with the ability to use the flinch or alternative, you might need to employ a classic negotiating technique called “breaking it down.” This involves taking your customer or partner through the actual cost of doing business with you. All of the sudden, $10,000 over 6 months becomes just $5,000 over 3 months, $1,700 over one month, and about $400 a week. The smaller numbers are still correct, but they’re scaling the cost down to a more manageable size so they aren’t shocked by the higher number.
4. Calling in a Higher Authority
Sometimes, it’s best not to appear to be the final decision maker. The reason for this is simple: you have to “call” your boss to approve a deal. If the numbers are not adding up for you, you can make a call to a committee, CEO, or another decision maker and appear to be going to bat for your negotiating partner while really taking some leverage away from them. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s free.
In today’s world, as the digital technology of the internet makes everything more competitive, you need to have an answer. The clear answer is negotiating with more tact and preparation than before. If you use these four negotiating tools above, you will already have a sizable leg up on the competition. So commit them to memory and try them out in your next round of business dealings to get more profit, less stress, and better options on the table for your business both now and into the future.