Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce

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The Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is a game, yet many don’t play it as they lack confidence. But once you know how to play the game negotiating can be fun and you can come out the winner. Once you learn the rules, the strategies, tactics, and play by the rules, negotiating gets easier because the emotion has been removed.

Consider the following and learn the win-win:

Pick a Strategy
Do you want a win-win or a win-lose?

First decide if you want to use a win-win strategy or a win-lose strategy.  Striving for a win-win outcome is conventional business wisdom; that is you get most of want you want by helping the other side get much of what they want. Win-win negotiations, when they work, are great because all parties feel good about the outcome and hard feelings are put aside.

Occasionally, win-win outcomes do not work or are not preferred. This is when to use the win-lose strategy; meaning try to get what you want and don’t worry about any bad feelings.

Regardless which strategy you decide upon, the next step is to do your homework. Learn about the weaknesses and strengths of the other side and the greater your chances of getting what you want.

Examples:

If your employer will have a hard time replacing you, consider holding out for the best deal.

When negotiating a lease, knowing the building has been empty for a year is very valuable information.

Tactics
Having your negotiation tactics ready can make the difference between winning and losing.  Depending on the situation consider the following:

  1. Avoid making the first offer – Negotiation 101
  2. Ask for more than you want – Play the game
  3. A friendly gesture – this is a good tactic for the win-win – creates good will.
  4. Be creative – Ask for something else if you can’t get what you want
  5. Don’t be too interested — make it seem like you’ll take it or leave it.
  6. Red herring — Use this as a diversion and allow yourself a chance to compromise and hold out for what your really want
  7. Wrap it up — give a little nudge and get the deal done
  8. Blowup — blowing up then cooling off sometime gets people to be more cautious about what’s being offered
  9. Willing to walk — the single most powerful weapon you have is the willingness to walk away with no deal

Whether you are negotiating for a raise, for a new lease, a higher position, suppliers, investors learn to play the negotiating game and it will be a win-win.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA and Rosann Levy are principals of the The RoArt Group, LLC. The RoArt Group, helps restaurateurs, small, midsize, & family owned businesses create strategies to increase profits and “grow” their business.  www.theroartgroup.com


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