Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday’s Negotiating Tip:

Numbers are a negotiator’s best friend. Being prepared with empirical information makes your arguments strong and hard to penetrate. Often when I’ve showed up to a negotiation with a strong case backed up with good information, the other side has completely folded. This has happened even when I provided the numbers ahead of time.

Let’s buy a new water heater. You always PREPARE before you negotiate. First, go log on to the computer and start researching water heaters. Take a file folder and fill it full of printouts that show what water heater is best and what the competitive prices are. Know what options are available, what average delivery and installation charges are, what options are available and which ones are on sale. Once you have this data, convert it to information. I often use simple spreadsheets that have the main models/brands that I like, the lowest prices and their locations and all the charges that I can find listed below. Then select the best deal from the options.

When you go to the Do-It-Yourself store carry this information with you. Explain that you want to buy the Superboiler 9000 for the best low price that you found if their price is higher. Be sure to discuss delivery, installation and all other costs that you regard as important to you. Once all their pricing is exposed bring out your information. Show the salesperson where they are off and request that they comply with the current information. It is virtually impossible for the salesperson to say “well, we provide better model or more extras” because you have the hard facts sitting right in front of them. They have no choice but to lower the price or lose the sale.

Although it is changing, the vast majority of retail sales people are not trained to handle numbers presented in this fashion. I hope your numbers are saving you money!


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