The four cardinal rules of negotiating

I found these rules in best-selling author Robert G. Allen's book The Road to Wealth. I thought they were very interesting and worth sharing. So, here they are ...
  1. Never make an offer until you understand the seller's problem. The first stages of negotiation are for information gathering. Avoid the temptation to jump to solutions. Without proper diagnosis you might be like the doctor who prescribes medicine for the wrong disease.
  2. Always conduct your negotiation in the context of a win/win philosophy. "This is how you will win Mr. Seller. This is how I will win. At that price, I can't win. At those terms, you can't win. I don't want you to lose. But I don't want to lose either, etc." This lets the seller that you are interested in being fair. Being a win/win negotiator may cost you dollars in the short run but will make you more money in the long run.
  3. In the more advanced stages of negotiation, where solutions to the seller's problems are being discussed, never be the first person to mention a number. Always let the other party make the first move. By avoiding the temptation to mention numbers, you may get the sellers to propose a price and terms that could be significantly better than what you had in mind. This one tip alone will save (make) you thousands of dollars over a lifetime of negotiation.
  4. When forced to mention a number, always start lower than you expect to end up. Why? Because you just might get it and save yourself thousands of dollars. Also, by mentioning a lower number, you leave room for give and take; i.e., the 'let's split the difference' tactic. The other party will be more willing to be flexible if he can see that you are also willing to be flexible.
Hope you find them as useful and interesting as I did.

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