A big part of my job as a real estate agent and negotiator is facilitating a meeting of minds – helping the seller and buyer focus on what matters to them enough to transact.
You would be surprised how often in negotiation small actions are what greatly help or hinder people in the pursuit of their ideal outcome. So….my negotiation tip for today is….
Bank that good will.
Most people I deal with like to deal with nice people – and are more likely than not to negotiate fairly, reasonably and will sometimes even put themselves out in surprising ways for a seller or buyer who has, not necessarily given them what they want, but has made them feel respected and considered.
FIVE ways to bank the goodwill.
1. Respond promptly to requests.
It’s often the long walk to ‘no’ rather than the ‘no’ itself that kills goodwill. Most of us hate uncertainty.
2. Small concessions matter.
Don’t say ‘no’ when it costs you little to say ‘yes’.
3. Always be courteous.
Manners cost nothing.
4. Hear – Acknowledge – Explain.
If you have to reject elements of the other parties proposal ensure that you acknowledge their needs in your counter proposal and offer an explanation as to why you have been unable to accommodate them in this particular area.
5. Consider what your position looks like to the other party….and then explain some more.
Explanations are particularly important if, in their absence, your position may appear unfair or unreasonable. Are you meeting resistance? Consider what your proposal may look like from the other parties perspective. Sometimes improving their understanding of your ‘why‘ is all it takes to secure a favourable outcome.
Why it works…
Banking the goodwill works like a charm because we, as humans, tend to be socially wired to reciprocate – positively or negatively.
Every small action you take to build goodwill with the other party is likely to be able to be drawn on later when it may really matter to you. Especially handy if unforeseen problems arise.
A word on aggressive negotiation tactics..
When people have no other option they will sometimes cave to ‘hard-balling’ but watch out – unless your business is completely concluded – a seller or buyer who feels hard done by may make the rest of the transaction less pleasant than it should be. I see this happen from time to time and it is a real shame when things that should be easy become unnecessarily difficult.