You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate
Every dollar you save can be used as a tool to further your financial independence goals. If you want to learn how to navigate through life and have money work for you, you must learn to negotiate. Negotiation simply means that a “win-win” is achieved and both parties compromise to a mutually agreed upon decision.
Let’s take the very simple example of you buying a house. If someone is selling their house for $100,000 and you think that $95,000 is a fair price, you can offer them $95,000. If they accept your $95,000 offer, you would have just negotiated down the price of the house, and both parties got what they wanted (i.e. win-win).
Now if you want to negotiate more in your favor, you need to use rules and tools to bring down the cost by understanding the psychological behavior of other people. Don’t worry, it’s simple, the underlying emotion that drives many of us to make quick, and sometimes very bad decisions, is fear.
How fear plays a role in negotiating
Fear is such a strong and dominating factor in the world that we live in. Fear of not finding a job out of college drives many of us to take the first job we get. Even if it’s a job we ultimately dread, fear of not being able to find another job halts people from taking the leap later in their career. Fear in the stock market stunts many investors if they sell their stock when the market takes a plunge. Fearful investors pull their money out and they become fearful of losing their money. Fear of being alone drives many to be in bad relationships, and when the right person does come along they’re too afraid to let go of what they have.
In all of life, fear presents itself in a myriad of ways, fear of flying, fear of dogs, or fear of rejection. For you, maybe it’s the fear of rejection, so you never ask that girl out on a date or ask your boss for a promotion.
Fear is a tool
Have you ever wanted to buy something but didn’t want to pay full price? Would you ever offer someone a lower price than what they’re asking? Were you afraid to negotiate? Were you afraid they would reject you? Just like money is a tool, fear is also a tool. It’s okay to be afraid and feel fear, just don’t live there. Don’t live in fear, don’t let fear govern your way of life. When fear consumes your life you will always be the loser in a lose-win situation. Today you’re going to learn some tools to negotiate and the power of using fear for your advantage.
“In Business As in Life, You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate “ – Chester L. Karrass
Whether you think you’re the type of person that can negotiate or not, you need to learn. These are powerful rules of negotiation that everyone can learn and are easy to implement.
Rule 1: Begin with the end in mind
Shortly after my wife and I got married, I quickly realized that she needed a new vehicle. Her Hummer H3 was guzzling gas so fast we had to fill it up just about every other day. As we stood in the office of a car dealership and looked around at different SUVs, I knew I was going to have some fun negotiating that day. A salesman approached me and asked if we’d like to look at any cars, but we had already done a test drive and knew exactly which SUV, the trim, color and the PRICE that we wanted to pay.
Of course, the price I wanted to pay was significantly lower (about $6,000) than what the dealer was selling it for. It’s important to begin by knowing what you’re willing to pay. In your head you also need to know how much margin you have to negotiate. Mentally, make a spending “ceiling”, and if you ever get to that “ceiling”, stay put, don’t go further than you’re comfortable with, if you do you’ll have buyer’s remorse the next day.
Rule 2: Be Persistent
I could tell that the car salesman was getting annoyed with me as I stood firm on the price we would pay for a new SUV. My wife’s face turned red as I turned over to her, I could tell she was completely confused as to why I was being so calm about negotiating with the salesman. This is where you really need to remember what your spending “ceiling” is.
After I hit my ceiling, I stopped negotiating and started being persistent that we didn’t have any more money in the budget to spend. Being persistent can be hard, you have to settle in your mind/heart before you even get to the negotiating table. You have to have that $dollar amount of what the maximum is you’re going to spend (i.e. ceiling). After being persistent with the salesman, I could tell he wasn’t going to bring down the price of the SUV, so I had move to rule 3, walk away.
Rule 3: Learn to walk away
This is by far the hardest part of negotiating. You have to be brave. You cannot walk in fear during this step. The feeling of fear may come over you, and you may feel that you’re walking away from a good, but not great, deal. But, the power of walking away actually plays on the other person’s fear. This is where you realize that the salesman has greater fear in his heart that he won’t be able to make the sale.
The moment you step up from the negotiating table , you are letting the salesman know that you don’t have any fear of walking away. The power of fear, here, will then overtake the salesman, and he will begin to fear you actually walking out the door.
The end of my story is a good one. As we got up, I thanked him for his time, and we proceeded to walk out the door. About three steps from the door the salesman came running out to us and asked if we could talk again, so we sat down. Long story short, I didn’t have to say a word, in 5 minutes the manager came out and presented us with the paperwork to buy the SUV for exactly what I initially offered the salesman almost 2 hours before. Learn that there is power in walking away from the negotiating table. Do not let the fear of losing something overtake you, trust that there will be another salesman or another manager that will do business with you.
Rule 4: Don’t take it personally, it’s just business
My story ended with me negotiating in my favor, but that is not always the case. After you negotiate, are persistent and make the decision to walk away, don’t take it personally. Walking away does not mean that you lose, it just means that it wasn’t meant to be at that time. you have to remember that there will always be another deal.
I’ve made dozens of offers on real estate and had to walk away from many before we finally found the house we’re in now. I didn’t take it personal. Whether you’re negotiating with a contractor for work, a salesman at a car dealership, or a real estate agent for house, it’s just business. Move on.
There are endless opportunities as you climb the ladder to financial independence. And when you don’t give in to fear of missing that opportunity, you will open your life up to endless opportunities. Remember, financial independence gives you options and opportunities. Negotiation is a powerful tool that will allow you capitalize on those opportunities when the time comes.
Have you ever had to negotiate? Did you have to walk away? What are some of your negotiation tactics?