I like to think of myself as a decent negotiator.
The reality, however, is that I don't negotiate very often and could easily refine my skills.
A few years back, I needed a new car and was determined to negotiate a great deal. This was the first time I had tried negotiating, so I made sure I wasn't rushed, tried to remove the emotional element, and was willing to walk away from any offer I didn’t love.
Since the vehicle I found had been on the lot for several months, I attempted to leverage this fact to my advantage and had even gotten the manager to come down close to my target price. I was proud of my work.
But it was what he said next that now makes me realize I had lost the negotiation.
As we were getting close to a deal, the manager said that I had done a good job negotiating. I did not realize it at the time, but it was that line that actually sealed the deal in his favor. I am now certain that I could have gotten the car for a much better price because of how easily he agreed to that deal and by how great he made me feel by saying that.
I now know that if the person I am working with makes me feel great about a negotiation, I probably left an opportunity on the table.
As a small business owner, every transaction we make can have a significant impact to the bottom line. We have options to get sales, discounts, and even to barter. Therefore, refined negotiation skills can make a huge difference.
What have you done recently to sharpen your negotiation skills?
ACTION ITEM: Try to negotiate your lunch today just for the sake of sharpening your negotiation skills.