As we look at the negotiating skills you must know, we come to #9 in my list.  You can see the other tips at this page.

Vector stop watch, realistic illustration.#9: Use time as a tool to demonstrate your willingness to wait or to demand they accept your offer. Either way, know your strategy in advance as to how you will use time.

There is no negotiating tool more effective than time.

The problem is too many people don’t know how to use it properly. Time is a tool that works on both sides – the salesperson’s and the customer’s – and it’s important to never forget that it does cut both ways.

The most effective way to use time is to never begin negotiating with the other person until you know they have to make a decision, and it needs to be done in a short period of time.

The more time the other person has to make a decision, the longer the negotiation process is going to take. A long negotiation period is never going to be to your advantage.



Negotiations are most effective when they’re done over a relative short period of time, as it lessens the likelihood of a “shop around” mentality to set in. Notice how nearly all labor negotiations reach their settlement in the final couple of hours before a strike. The reason is simple – there is leverage.

Key is for you, the salesperson, to know and leverage the short window of time the customer has to make a decision, while at the same time not revealing any time pressure on your end.

The worst thing for you is to have the customer know that you need to close the deal by a certain point in time. If they know this, then you’ve lost all leverage in being able to optimize your position.

Yes, there are a few times when you may want the customer to know you’re under a time crunch to close the deal, but that’s only when time is being added to scarcity. Example being if the customer doesn’t agree today, what you have will be sold to someone else.

Use time to your advantage, and the best way to optimize it is early in the selling process.

Before you begin any negotiations, ask the customer what their timeline is for making a decision.

Copyright 2015, 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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