Tactic 4. Take your time
Negotiate at a pace that suits you. Don't let buyers stampede you into making hasty decisions.
Here are three good reasons why:
- Hasty decisions are often regretted. If you feel under pressure call a 'TimeOut.'
"Can I put the discussion on hold for a few minutes while I visit the washroom?"
"I need a moment to work out some new figures, perhaps a short coffee break?"
"I need to pass that by our production people, a short break perhaps, while I give them a call?"
"That’s an important issue, I need to go away and discuss that with our production team.
“Can I get back to you first thing tomorrow?”
If the buyer is in a hurry to close the deal they may pull back on their demands.
- Every buyer demand should be tested; is this important to the customer or a just a whim?
You don’t want to give away a costly concession that makes little or no difference to the customer.
Respond to every demand by asking, “How important is this to your company?” or “You were happy with that before, what has changed?”
Test the importance of a demand by attaching a serious consequence for the customer, “If we change the type of condenser, there is a risk that it could fail safety approvals, would you be prepared to underwrite that risk?”
- Buyers are busy people. They like to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible; they may say,
“I have another meeting in thirty minutes.” If you negotiate at high speed it gives them more time to ask for more. If you slow down each negotiation, take more time to discuss each point, a buyer will often settle for far less. The Chinese are very good at taking their time.
Tactic 5. Question questions
This may seem like a crazy negotiating rule, but think about it. If you don't know the reason behind a question you may give away something you later regret or miss out on a valuable opportunity. And some buyers, like cross-examining lawyers, are very good at asking trap questions that camouflage their real intent.
Imagine that you arrive home from work on a Friday evening ready for a relaxing weekend.
Your partner asks you "Are you busy tomorrow?" How will you answer? If you answer "No" you may be digging the garden. If you answer 'Yes' you may miss out on a special treat.
The most sensible way to respond is to question the question; "Why, what do you have in mind?" The answer to that question puts you in a better position to decide if you are free or not. Now,
I'm sure you always do this at home, but do you always question questions when you negotiate with buyers?
A customer asks, "Can your pack the parts in different size containers, some with two, others with five and ten?" Don't answer yes or no. Ask a question, "Is there a particular reason you need them packed in different quantities?" Perhaps the customer wants to avoid repacking the parts for shipping on. Why not offer that as an extra service.
If a customer asks you, “Can you train our staff during a weekend?” Don’t answer yes or no or that might be difficult. Ask them why they prefer to train during a weekend. You may hear something to your advantage.
It pays to be curious.