Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!
In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.
Over the next 132 days, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.
(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)
Alternatives and Options
The power of alternative choice is a tool to be used by both the buyer and seller. A buyer should always look for alternative goods or services, and have other options during a negotiation. This helps him or her to not be needlessly restricted or emotionally involved in a purchase.
When a negotiation is drawing to a close and the seller tries to close the deal and lock you into a commitment you are not ready to make, side-step and say, “Thank you, but I have a couple of other options I need to investigate before I decide.” This gives you the time and space you need to consider; and it will often induce a seller to make new concessions to sweeten the deal, like lowering the price, or throwing in accessories or services that add value.
As the seller, you can use this tactic in reverse by saying, “We only have one left at this price but I have someone else very interested, so I guess it will have to be ‘first come, first served.’”
Another example for a seller is to add a further option or options to the goods or services, making it more difficult for the purchaser to make direct comparisons. Quite often, a small tangible product a person can hold in his or her hand as an additional option is a clincher, as people are loathe to give something back that they are holding and for which they have assumed “ownership”.
The power of alternative choice must be used judiciously to avoid damaging your credibility and your reputation.