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Here’s why you’re battling to get the buyer to say yes to the deal

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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 second section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the 26 different personality traits of negotiators you are likely to encounter in the course of your negotiating career are identified. Over the next few weeks we will recommend ways of dealing with each type of negotiator.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

4 The ambivalent negotiator

Ambivalent negotiators can seem friendly and even supportive, nodding agreeably as if they are on the same page as you. They may even tell others how great you and your deal are, so that it seems you are getting close to the finish line. But when the time comes to make a commitment and take decisive action, they often retreat into vagueness, passivity, and indecision.

There could be many reasons for this. Perhaps they are not the final decision makers. Perhaps they lack confidence in their authority or simply can’t decide yet. Perhaps they have commitment issues   and signing a contract makes them uneasy or anxious. Perhaps they’re not really interested and are just being polite. Perhaps they’re interested and just need a little more time, information, or reassurance. The problem with these types is that you can’t really tell what the problem is, and they won’t come out and say what it is.

When their persistent and vague dodging of a final commitment reveals them as the ambivalent negotiators they are, the ball is in your court. It is now up to you to probe their reluctance with direct questions. Ask them, “Do you have any more questions you need answered?” Or, “Do you have any concerns about this? What are they?” Or, “So, at this point, what is standing in the way of us making this happen? What is it you want, and what is it you need?”

After each question, be silent, maintain benign eye contact, and wait for an answer. If they give a vague answer, ask another specific question until they either reveal the reason for their ambivalence, which can then be addressed, or make a decision one way or another. If there is an issue, and if it’s soluble, attend to it. If it’s not soluble, keep the friendship intact and move on to your next viable negotiation prospect.


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