When you enter into a negotiation of any kind, one major ally will be keeping your emotions in check. It’s the one time when it makes a big difference. If your counterparty sees any signs of emotion, he or she will be sure to capitalize on it by using it against you.
Excitement is the first emotion to manage. Don’t let the counterparty know that you will do whatever it takes to make the deal. Do you want that beautiful new sports car in red? Show the dealer that you have no problems walking away if you don’t get the right deal.
An exception to the excitement rule is when you enter the negotiation with someone else with the intent of playing “good cop/bad cop.” In this instance, one of you should be overly emotional about making the deal, while the other puts a damper on the whole thing. The key is to get the counterparty as excited as you are and in turn, spend a lot of time in the process. The counterparty becomes shattered when the “bad cop” player says no to the deal. But the time has already been spent, and it is worth it for the counterparty to make a deal at that point.
Another great tactic when negotiating is to use silence to your advantage. People hate any uncomfortable amount of time passing with nothing spoken. The longer you wait it out in silence, the more you can get the counterparty to break. Being silent is not easy for anyone to master as most of us are used to quick exchanges when we converse with others.
If you find you are not good at negotiation, seek out someone who is. You may know someone who is great at it. If not, you can look for people who you can pay to negotiate on your behalf. Many times, these people will be willing to do it for a percentage of the amount saved in the negotiation. The savings will prove their skills. If they are unable to save you anything, they don’t get paid.
Using these tips can help you become a better negotiator. However, the best tip is to practice at it. Only through practice will you learn what works best for you and gives you the ability to experiment with new methods or techniques. If you have others negotiate on your behalf, be sure to pay attention to the methods they use.