Harvey Mackay’s Negotiating Strategies
- Never accept any proposal immediately, no matter how good it sounds.
- Never negotiate with yourself. Once you’ve made an offer, if the other party doesn’t accept it, don’t make another offer. Get a counter offer. It’s a sign of weakness when you lower your own demands without getting your opponent to lower theirs.
- Never cut a deal with someone who has to “go back and get the boss’s approval.” That gives the other side two bites of the apple to your one. They can take any deal you are willing to make and renegotiate it.
- If you can’t say yes, it’s no. Just because a deal can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done. No one ever went broke saying “no” too often.
Just because it may look nonnegotiable, doesn’t mean it is. Take that beautifully printed “standard contract” you’ve just been handed. Many a smart negotiator has been able to name a term and get away with it by making it appear to be chiseled in granite, when they will deal if their bluff is called.
- Do your homework before you deal. Learn as much as you can about the other side. Instincts are no match for information.
- Rehearse. Practice. Get someone to play the other side. Then switch roles. Instincts are no match for preparation.
- Beware the late dealer. Feigning indifference or casually disregarding timetables is often just a negotiator’s way of trying to make you believe he/she doesn’t care if you make the deal or not.
- Be nice, but if you can’t be nice, go away and let someone else do the deal. You’ll blow it.
- A deal can always be made when both parties see their own benefit in making it.
- A dream is a bargain no matter what you pay for it. Set the scene. Tell the tale. Generate excitement. Help the other side visualize the benefits, and they’ll sell themselves.
- Watch the game films. Top players in any game, including negotiating, debrief themselves immediately after every major session. They always keep a book on themselves and the other side.
- No one is going to show you their hole card. You have to figure out what they really want. Clue: Since the given reason is never the real reason, you can eliminate the given reason.
- Always let the other side talk first. Their first offer could surprise you and be better than you ever expected.