Five mistakes to avoid in any negotiation

The thumbnail version:

  • Negotiating is part of doing business
  • There are some thing you must not do when negotiating

The full version:

This is the post that was intended for the previous date on the 20th before I was reminded of a story about a lease negotiation and decide to tell it.

So here they are now, the five things you must avoid when negotiating because landlords are not the only characters you’re likely to negotiate with; there are vendors, customers, contractors, partners, and even prospective employees.

  1. Do not rush to a conclusion. It’s a back-and-forth process that should include time to reflect. The party rushed into a conclusion is likely to come out second best. In fact, rushing the other party is a tactic.
  2. Do not say anything that doesn’t ultimately benefit you. Letting down your defenses, being self-deprecating, and answering questions that could harm your position (you don’t have to answer every question just because it has been asked), may create a friendly atmosphere but could position you as vulnerable.
  3. Do not fail to plan ahead. Know what you want and strategize to get it. Remember the fake folder in the previous post?
  4. Do not fail to see the negotiation from the opponent’s position. Knowing what the opponent wants will prepare you better for arriving at a win-win settlement.
  5. Do not show desperation. Showing desperation will put you at a disadvantage; to the other party it will be like “smelling blood”, which will embolden them. This could result in a settlement that disadvantages you and benefits the other party.

This is by no means all you need to know for conducting a successful negotiation, but it’s a start. You have some reading to do before your next negotiation.