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How to negotiate with the guy who doesn’t know what you’re selling

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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)

18 The uninformed negotiator

The uninformed negotiator is one who shows up potentially interested in what you offer or represent but lacks substantial knowledge of what that is. Your job with an uninformed negotiator is to educate him or her and, in so doing, establish rapport that increases the likelihood of a deal.

It is important to establish early in a negotiation how much or how little the other party knows about your goods or services. Subtle questions and probing may be required to determine their level of familiarity and knowledge. When you realise you’re dealing with an uninformed negotiator, it’s time to begin the education process as the next essential step in the negotiation. Encourage the person to ask questions and make sure he or she is able to follow and understand you at each step as you bring this negotiator up to speed, and progress through each phase of the negotiations.

Identify this negotiator’s needs and wants and tailor your explanation and sales pitch accordingly. Keep your information simple, easy to understand, and relevant to his or her concerns and interests. Use successful examples in your industry or field as an illuminating comparison. Offer provable statistics that educate him or her and show the strengths of your product or service. And it always helps if you can provide testimonials from well-known individuals or reputable experts in the field.

It’s also important to establish your credibility, experience, and qualifications. This may be obvious, given the company you work for and the position you hold. But an uninformed negotiator may need reassurance on this matter. Offering references and contact information from previous clients or customers can be helpful. Visibly displaying in your office awards, degrees, media articles etc., which highlight your success and expertise, is always a good idea.

When you’ve done your best to bring the other party up to speed, ask them if they have any questions and if there is anything else they need to know. If they have no questions and seem to understand, then they can now make an informed decision. At this point, it’s time to close the deal, if you can. If they’re not ready to make a decision – perhaps they simply came to do research and get more information – suggest scheduling a follow-up meeting. Whether or not they agree, thank them for coming, and leave them with supportive documentation such as flyers or product descriptions, your list of references with contact information, and, of course, your business card.

If they do come back, it is a very good sign. You will have a personal connection that will allow you to pick up the negotiation in midstream and, hopefully, move it to a successful deal.


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