How To Negotiate Against Anyone

Having the ability to negotiate is a very valuable skill. Whether you’re negotiating for lower prices at the local supermarket or closing a business deal at favorable terms, possessing the ability to negotiate can bring you success in so many areas.

Here are some proven ways on how to negotiate against anyone.

1. What is Your Worst Case Scenario?

Before entering a negotiation, determine the worst offer or resolution that you would accept. This could be in terms of the lowest salary you would accept or the highest price you are willing to pay for a certain product. In other words, determine your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) before even going into a negotiation because let’s face it, a successful negotiation is a win-win negotiation where both parties compromise.

Thus, even if you do not achieve your initial aims, you would still be happy with the outcome. Determining your BATNA helps to strengthen your resolve when bargaining and this adds to your bargaining power.

2. Do Your Research

He who has the most knowledge wins. This is especially true in during negotiations. If you have done your research, you may even know the cost price of an item that you are planning to buy and hence, the seller’s bargaining position.

This way, you would be able to suggest an offer that is favorable to you and yet still reasonable. If you have some dirt on a competing firm, state it during negotiations and if possible, back it up with irrefutable statistics and facts. This will go a long way to securing that important business deal for your firm.

3. Look For Any Slips But Never Show Your Hand

As far as possible, never reveal your bargaining position. Once you’ve revealed that, the chances of a favorable outcome from the negotiation decreases dramatically. On the other hand, look for slips by the other person when they are talking and use it to your advantage.

For example, if a seller accidentally reveals that a product has been on the shelf for almost six months, you are in a much better position to bargain for a better price since it is unlikely that this product will be sold if you do not buy it.

4. Make An Aggressive First Offer

Be extra careful when you are the person making the first offer because this first offer will act as an anchor that will guide the entire negotiation from start to end. Further offers or compromises that result will depend heavily on this first offer. If you have done your research and can estimate your opponent’s bargaining position, start with an offer that is just beyond his or her bargaining position. For example, if a buyer knows that the best price a seller could get for a certain product is $900, the buyer should offer to buy the product for $700. (could be lower but not too exaggerated)

Take note though, if you were to make a mistake in this first offer, your entire negotiating position could be compromised and you could end up on the wrong side of the deal.

5. Practice

With these quick tips on how to negotiate against anyone, the key to incorporating these tips into your next negotiation is to practice. Practice these skills the next time you’re bargaining for a lower price at your local grocer or arguing with your spouse about who gets to do the housework. This practice will come in handy when you are negotiating for more serious issues like a salary raise or a big business deal.