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10 Effective Negotiation Techniques: More Than a Winning Personality

Agreeableness and intelligence will take you a long way in life, but those attributes will not help you get a good deal. Effective bargaining is much more than displaying a winning personality. If you hope to be successful in your negotiations, you will need to learn some basic strategies and techniques.

No matter if you are haggling an automotive salesman or demanding a raise from your boss, cooperation can hurt your argument, and a high level of intelligence may not be in your favor. Knowing the following tidbits of information, however, will give you the upper hand in all of your negotiations!

1) Nice guys rarely finish first. Being kind has a tendency to lower your chances of negotiation success, especially in cases of distributive bargaining, such as pushing for a better deal or for a raise. When faced with a situation where one party loses and the other wins, being friendly is not the best idea. You will be inclined to back down or accept the shorter end of the stick, not because you want to, but because you want to remain agreeable.

2) When it comes to integrative negotiations, extroversion and agreeableness has no effect whatsoever. This is the type of situation where both parties seek a mutually satisfying agreement or in order to reach a goal, such as dividing work duties equally between committee members. Being nice does not always lead to an equal bargain.

3) When it comes to distributive bargaining, such as in the case of negotiating for a better car price, street smarts always beat out high P.Q.’s. In cases such as these, having enough nerve to stand up and speak one’s mind is much more important than one’s level of intelligence. Analytic ability (or in other words, doing the math) is less important than stating a solid aggressive offering price.

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4) In integrative situations, such as equally dividing the household chores, intelligence is useful. By thinking rationally and taking the other person’s feelings into consideration, you will be able to reach a mutually satisfying arrangement without resentment or feeling put upon.

5) Refuse to get stuck with a bad deal. When you are given a disagreeable first offer, you might doubt your abilities to get a better arrangement. In order to remain agreeable, you might make your counteroffer very close to the first. Never allow yourself to take anything you do not agree with or that fails to keep your best interest in mind. For example, a car salesman may offer you $1,000 for your trade-in, but then tack on $1,000 in “origination fees” to your new car payment contract. Essentially, you have given your old car away for free!

6) Trust your gut. If the negotiations don’t feel right, don’t agree to them. If the other party seems shady, even if you can’t pinpoint why, stop the negotiations and take your business elsewhere.

7) Extroverted and agreeable people are often overpowered by aggressive second parties. Stick to your guns, realize that aggression will be headed your way, and do not allow it to blow you over.

8) When you are offered a deal that is beyond your financial means (such as a high car price), be skeptical of the transaction. If the price seems too high for the item you are purchasing, chances are, it is.

9) Mercy in action. Never allow yourself to be at the mercy of the other party if you hope to get a good deal. Numerous businesses prey on people who are at their mercy, such as shady used car salesmen, rent-to-own stores, and payday advance loan companies. These businesses know that people are coming to them out of desperation, for one reason or another, and there are no room for negotiations. Imagine trying to tell a payday advance loan company that you refuse to pay their high interest rates, and, if they want your business, they should low it. More than likely, they will laugh at you, and tell you in so many words to kindly take your business elsewhere.

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10) Keep your hopes high, and your eyes set on the prize. Expect a good deal, and you will get a good deal. If you shoot for the stars, and determine to stick to your guns, you can overcome the nice-nice tendencies and enjoy successful negotiations!


Personal experience, education, and specialization in the field of Psychology
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