The most powerful and easiest negotiation tips ever!

Of all the workshops I conduct, my favorite is negotiation.  Today I’ll tell you why, and give you some useful tips to save time and money in your personal life.

We’ll start with this simple premise.  When you study negotiation, there are generally three areas of focus, and I use the acronym TIP to help people remember them:  time, information and power.  Let’s look at all three.

Any time you’re in a negotiation and you have all the time in the world, you’re in the better position.  Example:  you have to sell your house to relocate, having already bought a house in the new location.  Home buyers have all the time in the world to look for a house, but you’re in a hurry as you’re soon to be squeezed for cash.  You’re in the weaker position.

Years ago, American auto-makers and other companies would travel to Japan to negotiate manufacturing contracts.  The Japanese would politely ask the Americans what day they planned to leave “so that we can be sure to achieve all our objectives in time to see you on your way.”  But then they would stall and draw out the negotiations until the day the Americans had to get to the airport. The naïve Americans made all kinds of concessions then, just to get out of there.  Tip?  Never tell your counterpart we have to get this deal done by such and such a time, as you will concede the time advantage.

Another huge component of negotiation is information.  Whoever has more has the advantage, and in workshops I encourage the learners to do as much preparation as possible.  You should never enter the first negotiation meeting with the lame objective: “We’re just going in to sound out the other party on what they want from this deal.”

The final component is power.  It’s pretty easy to tell who has more power in a negotiation setting.  You probably need your job, so negotiating with your boss about the activities you must do to comply is harder on you than on the boss.  As a parent, you allow your kid to use your car but you should have certain rules associated with it.  He wants to drive the car?  He has to study two hours every day.

In my workshops I include a fourth component, which I simply call communication skill.  You can be familiar with the first three, but if you’re a poor communicator, you won’t be much of a negotiator.  So my workshops are different in that I put a great deal of emphasis on how to say things. Here’s one you can and should use in your everyday life.

Someone asks you to take over his project for the summer, or a friend asks you to babysit her kids for a week, or head up some committee. It’s easy to say yes, but then you’re stuck getting it done, and you hate to say no because you aren’t a skilled communicator.

Here’s the trick.  You say, “I’m sorry I can’t, but thanks so much for thinking of me.”  This is the best way to say no, and there is almost no good response to it.  Try it yourself and see the effect.

No blog next Tuesday because my newsletter goes out, and in it I’ll give you a surefire negotiation tip that will save you at least a hundred bucks every time you use it.

Think Like Your Customer

About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at

7 Responses to The most powerful and easiest negotiation tips ever!

  1. luttrellg says:

    Reblogged this on NegTech and commented:
    Excellent negotiation tips straight from industry expert, Greg LaMothe.

  2. hpbruvcraft says:

    Another useful negotiation trick: contrast. If you give a high demand, and it’s ignored, the next demand you give will seem more reasonable, regardless of its actual value.

  3. JayadevM says:

    Excellent TIPs!

  4. Thank you all, not just for the repost, which is nice, but more importantly for the kind words in your feedback. Tomorrow I wrote what I hope is a good post about the best question you can ask when conducting discovery (consultant speak for what do you need, or how can I help?) Anyone who sells anything needs this honest and powerful question. I am so grateful. I have been writing this for two years and this is the best feedback I have ever gotten. Gregory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: