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Everything is Negotiable

Everything is Negotiable

Everything is Negotiable

The ability of negotiate is a useful skill that most people in business will need at some stage.

Here are some notes based on Gavin Kennedy's excellent book Everything is Negotiable:

  1. Always say NO to their opening offer.
  2. Don't complain: Instead, negotiate a solution.
  3. When in negotiations, keep asking, "What if......"
  4. Negotiators most common error is giving "Goodwill concessions".
  5. Put (artificial) limits on your negotiating power.
  6. Never use the phrase, "or nearest offer" (ONO).
  7. In negotiations, adopting a Strong Stance is better than adopting a Weak Stance.
  8. The Negotiator's most useful phrase is "Yes, but ONLY IF....."
  9. Your power is based upon your Perception of Power.
  10. Remember that everything is negotiable.

Let us say a few things on each point.

1. Don't say yes to their first offer.

Always say NO to their opening offer.

If the other person has any negotiation skill, then their first offer is not their best offer.

If you accept their first offer, you will never see their best offer.

2. Don't complain; Instead, negotiate a solution.

Don't waste time moaning about what has happened. Instead, figure out what you want and negotiate a remedy.

3. When in negotiations, keep asking, "What if......"

Life is full of unexpected events. You need to know what the responsibilities of the various parties would be, if these unexpected contingencies occur. These responsibilities should be explored before the final agreement is signed.

4. Negotiators most common error is giving "Goodwill concessions".

Never GIVE concessions away in order to gain good-will.

Instead, you should TRADE concessions.

Goodwill concessions encourage the other party to expect to gain concessions for free.

In a negotiation, never give anything for free.

5. Put (artificial) limits on your negotiating power.

Tell the other party you want what they have to offer, but you have limits on your ability to give so much in return. If they want to do a deal, then they must improve their offer.

6. Never use the phrase, or nearest offer (ONO).

Using the phrase, "Or nearest offer" broadcasts your weak commitment to your opening offer. Only amateur negotiators use this phrase. Professional negotiators never use the phrase.

7. In negotiations, adopting a Strong Stance is better than adopting a Weak Stance.

If you take a Weak negotiating stance, others will quickly and easily, push you off your preferred position.

If you take a Strong Stance, others will NOT be able to knock you off track and you will be able to defend your best interests.

8. The professional negotiator's most useful two word phrase.

The negotiators most powerful two word phrase is, "ONLY IF....."

Yes, I can reduce my unit price, but ONLY IF you increase your order volumes.

Yes, we can increase our offer slightly but ONLY IF you improve the specifications.

The phrase ONLY IF preserves the principle of reciprocity.

I give a concession to you, ONLY IF you give a concession to me.

9. The Perception of Power.

In the world of human affairs, we are affected by perceptions of personal power. Your personal power is mostly a function of subjective perception rather than objective fact.

The Personal Power you have in a negotiation is based upon your beliefs concerning your own power, in relation to the other people in the room.

Therefore, you should work to develop your own self-perception: See yourself as a person with high levels of personal power based upon thorough preparation and high degree of specialised knowledge.

10. Everything is negotiable.

Don't be too ready to believe the printed price tag.

Professional negotiators believe that "Everything as Negotiable".

Nothing is fixed, including prices, terms and conditions. These are fixed only by the final contract. Until the final contract is agreed, then everything is negotiable.

Negotiation Skills Training Course

If you would like to know more about negotiation skills, please take a look at our one-day in-house Negotiation Skills Training Course.

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