Top-Shelf Tip No. 99:

"Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."

John F. Kennedy

Five Ways To Win By Negotiating

Negotiating is an important skill in sales and in life. When you polish your negotiation skills, you can significantly impact your quality of life. However, many people are afraid to negotiate because they fear they'll get a worse deal or they'll lose the deal altogether.

Developmental economist Heather R. Morgan has observed and participated in informal markets in Asia and the Middle East, learning how vendors often sell products for three times their intended price. She also learned how to avoid mistakes that could break a deal. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Morgan's negotiation insight to win more often.

1. Make shamelessness your superpower. Morgan says that in order to be an effective negotiator, you must get past your fear of appearing impolite or cheap. You never know what's possible until you try. You might be surprised how often you get exactly what you want simply by asking. Other times, the other party will meet you in the middle, which is still better than if you hadn't asked at all. If the deal isn't what you want, it's okay to walk away. This kind of shamelessness is a powerful negotiation tactic.

2. Look for opportunities to practice. Repeating anything can help you improve, just make sure you spend time reflecting on what didn't go well and how you can improve next time. Morgan suggests testing your negotiation skills in low-stakes scenarios. For example, check out an open market or estate sale in your area. Whenever you're buying or selling something, there's an opportunity to negotiate. This hands-on experience will help you learn and improve and give you a few confidence-boosting wins to help you in business.

3. Envision your ideal outcome. Morgan says she always thinks clearly about her desired result before she even begins negotiating. Determine what you want to win. You should know exactly what you want, what you're willing to concede and what you won't accept. When you envision what you want, you're also better positioned to play to win, which can help you feel more confident and focused.

4. Have deep empathy. Many people wrongly think that great negotiators are greedy and aggressive, but the best negotiators are actually incredibly empathetic. Game theory involves understanding what you want and motivates the other players of the game. The more you can figure out your prospect's desires and motivations, the easier it will be to get what you want.

5. Realize the positive. When you think about sales and negotiation, Morgan recommends thinking about how you're actually doing someone a favor. As a customer buying a product, you're doing them a favor by giving them your business. When you're selling something, remind yourself of the benefits or advantages you provide your customers. This will help ease any guilt or discomfort you may experience in negotiation.

You don't need a lifetime of experience with haggling to become an expert negotiator. Follow the tips above to get exactly what you want in your next negotiation.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Heather R. Morgan is an economist and the founder of Salesfolk, which has helped hundreds of companies revitalize their sales prospecting strategies.

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