11 responses

  1. Mike
    July 13, 2010

    I’d say that all negotiation strategies are annoying. 🙂

    My real estate agent was the Queen of the “other offer”. She would never say there was an actual offer, but if we expressed an interest in putting an offer in, then she would always suggest that if we don’t do it right away then there “could be another offer”.

    She was also a huge fan of the “make your first offer the best one”.

    I liked her though, she was pretty good at booking appointments and driving us around to look at houses. 🙂


  2. Rachelle
    July 13, 2010

    I had a boss who was a crack negotiator, he could make you eat crap and like it… for a while. As soon as he would stop talking you’d think “What the hell did I just agree to?”

    It seemed to be inherent to his personality in that he couldn’t stop doing it even when it was counterproductive. For instance Rogers Cable wasn’t in his building because in the past Rogers used to have very lucrative contracts for leasing the space their lines went through in buildings. When Rogers changed their policies about how much they would pay the building owner refused. The result was that Rogers could not provide cable in our building. This is still going on!

    When I left that job, he shorted my pay, wouldn’t give me my separation slip, when I did get it it said quit rather than laid off as we had agreed. It was stupid of him I was his legal rep after all. I gave EI and the labor board his direct cell number 🙂 I also got great satisfaction thinking about him writing the check as ordered by the labor board.

    Still he is a great negotiator but it certainly caused a whole lot of resentment in his staff!


  3. jesse
    July 13, 2010

    The real trick is to get the buyer to detach himself from the price. Get them to love what they’re buying and they will pay the markup.

    I’d say used car salesman tricks are the absolute simplest and easiest to pick out. They have little to no credibility and, I think, people expect them to be dishonest. The tricks they use are geared towards coming from that position.

    Other salesmen are much more subtle. They can come from a point of trust which means there are many more tricks available to them. My favourite is the “inside scoop” scam, where once they’ve achieved confidence with a buyer, they can convince them they have inside information which will give the buyer a sense they are either getting a deal, or at least not being scammed. This one’s common on condo presales but also on junk stock investments.

    It’s all the same, though. Without actual evidence all you have is the salesman’s word. And even if you smell like roses and have a halo, it’s still nothing more than confidence. It’s why CEOs are so “numbers focused,” since they’re surrounded by salespeople, from all sides, most of the time.


  4. Thicken My Wallet
    July 13, 2010

    The “I am on your side” schtick always gets me. Happens a lot in real estate. My friend’s tip is if the price difference is small to modest the agent should cut their commission since the reduction in commission, in absolute terms, is quite small. However, suddenly, they are no longer your buddies. Thanks for the link.


  5. Marc
    July 13, 2010

    I think some people like to negotiate, and others don’t. I hate it. I always ask the right and fair right price up-front. I don’t inflate it expecting to be “talked down,” because I view that as dishonest. Since I won’t do it, I don’t expect others to do it. But I think I may be naive in my thinking.

    My wife will walk into a car dealership and get them to knock $1,500 off a $14,000 car. And the funny thing is, they both act as though that’s the natural thing to do, and it was predetermined that they would engage in that dance.

    I guess the lesson is, if you like it and you’re good at it, do it. Otherwise, bring someone along who IS good to do it for you.


  6. Dividend Lover
    July 13, 2010

    Don’t take the first offer.
    Don’t take the second offer.
    Take the third offer.


  7. Mr. Cheap
    July 13, 2010

    DL: I’ll give you $10 for your blog. Ok, how about $5? Final offer: $2! ;-P


  8. Dilbert
    July 14, 2010

    I recently helped my Mother-in-law buy a new car, we were planning on going for a few test drives through the day, pick the car you want and sleep on it. The salesman just says to her ‘if you buy it today, I’ll throw in tint'(value $200) and suddenly there was no turning back. Two days later another dealer I had contacted, got back to me with a price $3000 less, but the deal was already done. She basically paid $3000 for tinted windows, which the other dealer probably would have included also…


  9. Will Lenssen
    July 15, 2010

    Negotiations in Real Estate have 2 levels: a) You and your client (or sales rep if you are the client) b) You and the other Sales Rep who represents the other party.
    I enter into negotiations in real estate with my client as I formerly entered into an educational interview with questions like: Who? What? Where? When? How? and of course, Why? I do this because I am employed by them and they deserve my honesty and team membership – for I see it as a consensual outcome. I entertain a discussion and follow it up with a decision making chart in which criteria are written down and rated then ranked based on priority. This may take longer but it is a process of decision making. I may have lost a few sales but the buyer/seller I am with seems to appreciate that the “discussion” is a team event – you as rep and them as client. Sometimes however, the other client rep for the buyer/seller may not entertain this type of negotiation – implying that the negotiations most used in real estate has 2 levels.
    The real difficulty comes when a sales person and an interested buyer/seller engage. This is a toally different scenario because of the competition that each party has to get something “better” for themselves/their company. Keep communicating – but listen more and ask more than talk.


  10. Sam
    July 17, 2010

    These strategies more often just turn me off. I myself have tried a few negotiation strategies by “creating a need for the customer” which has backfired on me a few times. 🙂


  11. beyondanomie
    July 21, 2010

    I come at this from a psychiatry/psychology background but am also a small businessman and would argue that good negotiation has at its heart the same skillset as good communication skills in general. Or good diplomatic skills, or political skills, or indeed anywhere where you need to establish rapport quickly, gauge the other person’s perspective and engage creating a plan that both parties feel able to sign up with.

    The key to doing this effectively is having good “theory of mind” – being able to put yourself quickly into the other person’s shoes and figure out where they’re coming from. I firmly believe a good grasp of core psychological/psychoanalytic principles (like transference and counter-transference) helps hugely in this process. There are a few posts on my own blog about this, but in brief, it’s all about trying to sense where the other party is coming from so as to be able to offer them a deal they CAN accept, even if they didn’t really WANT to.


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