Kentin Waits doles out some effective-sounding negotiation tips on Wise Bread. Part common sense, part Sun Tzu, the advice can serve you well in any number of situations, be it working on a deal for a house or car or asking the boss for a raise.
Here are three of the seven tips:
1. Come prepared.
Never begin to negotiate on the price of an item that you haven’t researched and understand the value of. In order to get the best deal, it’s essential to know what the market supports for the item in your area. Ask yourself: is it a good deal to begin with? What have other items like it sold for recently? How is this one better or worse? What’s my ideal price and what’s my maximum price?
2. Be polite.
Negotiating should be less of a battle and more of a dance. Have a conversation with your seller, kick the dirt, and find some common ground. Realize that both parties have an investment in the outcome, and that a happy seller is as important as a happy buyer. Sellers who leave feeling like you drove a hard but fair deal will be more likely to “dance” with you again.
3. Don’t make the first move.
This is where a bit of psychology comes in. If you’re in a situation where the price of an item is not stated, let the seller toss out the first number. Whoever quotes this magic figure first takes the most risk in negotiation — is the price so outlandish that the seller has alienated the buyer? Is it so low that he could have gotten twice that amount? If you can’t avoid naming the first price, opt for a fair, if slightly low-ball offer. Remember, you can always increase your offer, but decreasing it is like trying to unlay an egg.
Which negotiation method works best for you?
The 7 Laws of Negotiation [Wise Bread]