Negotiating with someone doesn’t have to create fear and trepidation in your mind.

There is zero reason to go into a negotiation feeling that way unless you are committing the number one sin when it comes to negotiating.

Here it is… the #1 reason people can’t negotiate:

They lack confidence because they don’t have a plan.

Go ahead and call it two things if you want. But I argue they are so intricately connected, they might as well be one.

If you don’t have a plan going into any negotiation, there is zero reason for you to expect to win.

For that matter if you go into a negotiation without a plan, you have every reason to expect you’re going to get your head handed to you.

Your planning much consist of answers to the following questions:

  • What specifically are you negotiating and do these things have value in the mind of the other person?
  • Have I developed a list of things I could offer (other than price) that the other party will see as having value and are of little or no cost to me?
  • Do I know what their timeline is for making a decision?
  • Do I know what my opening offer is going to be and do I know at what point I will walk away?
  • Am I prepared to not reach a satisfied agreement with the other party?
  • Am I positive I’m dealing with the decision maker?
  • Do I know why the customer is insisting on negotiating with me?
  • Has the customer rejected all other means to reach a settlement?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it means you’re walking into the negotiation unprepared.  If you want to lose, go for it. Skip the preparation phase.

If, however, you want to win, your job is to view the actual negotiation with the other party as merely one piece of your process.  The bulk of the work in any good negotiation is in getting prepared to negotiate.

There you have it.

Failing to prepare is really nothing more than preparing to lose.

For more on negotiation, check out my free ebook, 12.5 Critical Factors for Negotiating.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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