Chris Croft
Tips of the Month – Archive

Negotiation Skills Tip 11



Be nice

Decide to do it

Instead of yes or no

The most important thing to prepare

How to practice without risk

Never go beyond your walk away point

Don’t open first

Instead of complaining

The Flinch

Is it OK to lie?

Why you need a good pack of tradeables

Negotiating internally

Reasons for not negotiating are all false

Walking away – really mean it!

Planning your opening offer

*** The importance of a good pack of tradeables ***

If you're going to follow some of my basic rules:

1.  start with a fairly wide opening offer (which you should, in order to avoid not asking for enough)

2. move in small amounts (which you should, otherwise you're giving away too much each time, as well as looking as if there's a lot more still to go)

3. trade with each move, rather than conceding unilaterally (which you should, otherwise you're giving money away, looking weak, and making your opening offer look dishonest)

...... then you're going to have a lot of trades between your opening position and the final agreement.  In fact, there's a risk that if you run out of trades you're either going to have to just crumble, or maybe even that you'll never get there, and you'll fail to get an agreement, when there was one that could have been got.  Bad!

So the answer is have lots of tradeables, that you can slowly add on or take off (depending on whether you're buying or selling) as you move towards the agreement point.

Therefore you should spend a while beforehand making a list of as many tradeables as you can.

For example, in my story about the man offering to trim my wife's hedge,

I could have offered him, in return for a reduction in the price (or he could have asked me for, in return for a reduction in the price):

  • tea and biscuits
  • cash
  • regular work
  • do it tomorrow
  • use as a fill-in job within the next 4 weeks
  • other services like lawn mowing
  • take away the clippings
  • borrow my tools
  • I borrow his tools for other jobs
  • I help him
  • recommend him to neighbours
  • fix up a deal where he does my neighbour's and mine in one go
  • negotiation training in exchange (he needed this, because, as you may remember, when I asked him for a better price he told me to f*** off)

What are YOUR tradeables?

The questions to ask yourself are:

What can we do for them that's easy for us to give?
What might they want from us that would be valuable for them? What might they have, that would be useful for us? What do we ideally want, that they might be able to do for us?

a bit of effort is required, but the good news is you only have to do it once.

onwards and upwards


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