I remember sitting for a very long afternoon in Café de Paris in Piccadilly, London. I was negotiating to buy a publishing and digital business in London. It was a drawn-out affair. They wanted too much and we knew more than they thought about their financial position. We played call my bluff and flip a coin, almost. We struck a deal to buy based on future earnings, so paid little upfront. It suited everyone.
I’ve learnt a great deal about negotiation over the years through trial and error. It takes many forms and affects all parts of your life, whether it’s getting children to bed or closing a deal.
The better you are at working the deal, the happier the outcome for you – and them.
Here are some tips I’ve learnt to help you get what you want:
- Aim high at the outset; you can’t go up from your initial position.
- Restate your value and solution throughout, keep it front of mind.
- And be brave, fortune tends to like you for that.
And the DON’T’S:
- Concessions should not be made early, ever, work the conversation first.
- Don’t reveal your hand or negotiating position, and don’t fill silences, they are valuable moments of reflection.
- Often whoever speaks first after a pause concedes more ground. Give nothing unless you get something back, quid pro quo.
The bottom line is to always aim for a “win-win”. Those outcomes tend to stick, you land the deal and the child stays in bed…dreamland!