Movieclips Monday: Negotiating the right deal
Whether we recognize it or not, negotiating is something we all do on a daily basis. Some do it better than others. We all want to get what we want, for the right price — perhaps the reason why shows such as “Auction Hunters” or “Pawn Stars” have become increasingly popular. And if you’re a fan of “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump’s advice from “The Art of the Deal” might stick with you best. The Donald believes every deal combines craftsmanship and art in order to be successful.
Above all, I think you’ll always get further when you’re polite. A great movie with heavy insight into negotiations — baseball negotiations that is — is “Moneyball.” Here is a great scene from one of the successful negotiations featured in the movie that shows that, while in tense negotiations, saying please doesn’t hurt:
In the business world, negotiations sometimes get increasingly complex as the size of the deal grows. Here are a few tips when it comes to negotiating that I try to follow on a regular basis:
1. Know your numbers. We all know the phrase “knowledge is power,” but in negotiating, knowledge is essential. Knowing what your or your opposition’s breaking point is will be the key to winning any deal. How you arrive there involves learning and doing a lot of background work. Give specific data and relevant market intel to show you’ve done your homework. You might even shake your opposition’s confidence in their numbers, which could allow an opening for you to gain some leverage.
2. Think about what is considered a win. To me, successful negotiations are when both sides win. Compromise involves careful listening during negotiations. But when a compromise is achieved, you’ll see results that work for both sides.
3. Negotiations don’t come natural to everyone. It might take some time to gain a level of comfort when negotiating. After becoming comfortable with negotiation basics, the next step is being comfortable with being uncomfortable! Sometimes negotiations can take difficult turns and you have to be ready to navigate through some stormy waters.
Practice makes perfect. Start on a basic level, and go to your local flea market or resale shop to work on your negotiating. The first couple of times might be torture, but it could pay off in the long run. You’ll be able to pick up some useful tips or one-liners. That’s the benefit of practicing negotiations: You’ll be able to hit it out of the ballpark.