Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday’s Negotiating Tip:

While it is advantageous in many ways to use win/win strategies where both sides get what they want, sometimes it is either not possible or not practical. Several times I’ve used my skills to get fantastic deals only to feel guilty later that I had somehow taken advantage of the other party. This is not good and makes for some restless nights.

If a negotiation goes too far your way, try to keep it from being a win/destroy outcome. Win/lose is something most people can accept. One of the ways I’ve overcome this mistake in the past is to come up with a way to refund some of the money. In one instance I negotiated a super deal with a fellow who turned out to be in deeper financial trouble than he let inferred. He had no choice but to accept my ridiculously low opening offer because he was afraid of not having the money that day to make his rent payment. I knew the guy to be a bit of a horse trader so I didn’t take his opening banter seriously. During the negotiation I even sweetened my deal and coerced him into giving me attachments for the item I bought for free, including a new case.

After I found out that he really wasn’t kidding and was having a hard time I felt very bad about the deal. Your conscience can make even the sweetest deal sour. To make up for the mistake I made up a reason to give him some of the money back by saying that the attachments he gave me were worth more than I thought and I felt like I should pay him for the excess cost. He was happy with the deal and we are still friends, even though I still had hurt him.

When you know that you make a mistake, do what you can to make up for it. No one refuses returned money. You never know when you’ll need that friend.


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