recently, because when people are asking about how to negotiate, as opposed to “How can I survive what is going on?”, we have deal activity, and that means business is picking up. So, by popular demand…here are some conclusions that I have come to, that I am confident will help you in negotiating Real Estate Deals TODAY. I have never been a fan of the “IF / THEN” approach to selling, nor to conversation in general. I rarely know what the other person is going to say next. I have been married to the same woman for over twenty six years, and I NEVER know what she is going to say next. How could I possibly assume that someone whom I am selling to (or negotiating with) can be predictable? Preparing for what might happen is healthy. I also believe in practice. In my book: The Ultimate Sales Managers’ Guide, I offer the admonition: “Practice does not make PERFECT – practice makes PREPARED.” And while the syntax in that mantra may be lacking, the message is not. Practice gives us confidence to perform. Sometimes, (actually – most of the time) practice before the event can be the determining factor in a win. We want to be nimble, focused, and relaxed when entering a negotiation. Although attorneys are skilled negotiators, and as dedicated as they are to the protection and vigorous representation of their client, they truly have no “skin in the game”. Losing, while frustrating, is rarely as devastating to an attorney as it may be to their client. So, as of today, you are your own attorney – like representative in every future negotiation. It’s up to you to get the most you can, while surrendering the least you have to. Since practice makes prepared, let’s set a specific outline for how to prepare for the timeline of a negotiation, and let’s consider the best actions and steps, Before, During, and After your negotiation conversation. Before you sit down to negotiate your next Real Estate deal:
- Find out what THEY want. Hearsay may not be admissible in court, but getting input or insight from someone near the decision-maker can be helpful. Weigh this what you already know.
- Abandon the altruistic-sounding but less-than-honest goal of A WIN-WIN. A WIN -WIN is not your responsibility. WIN WIN? Really? Do athletes look for a WIN WIN? Look for the structure and criteria outlined in the next few points.
- Know, unequivocally, and well in advance of your face-to-face meeting, what your hard, committed, walk-away number is. A profitable deal is not the same as “a deal”. Determine what the minimum acceptable profit for you is before you sit down to the negotiation table.
- Know what concessions you are willing to make. Everyone starts a negotiation with a number they like. That is not the same as the number they have to have. They are opening a conversation. You must know how much room you are willing to give to the other party. When they feel as though you have been willing to move, sacrifice, or concede something, they feel as though they have won some real estate. Good for them. And good for you.
- Prepare to be prepared. Negotiation begins the second you enter the facility. If they come to your office, have someone else greet them. If you go to them, cut the small talk with the receptionist, or your negotiation partner. Be ready to go as soon as you enter the building.
- Decide and WRITE DOWN your criteria for a profitable deal or relationship (not type and print- write it out!)
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