Think Like A Negotiator
I’m excited to share a post by my friend Autumn Leopold, a Professional Organizer specializing in residential relocation organizing. She is a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizer) and NAPO-CO. She is also creator of the blog Smart Happy Organized, where she serves her readers by giving them DIY organizing inspiration and tools to live smarter and happier, as well as promoting other professional organizers and their extraordinary blogs and products.
Thanks so much Autumn for sharing your negotiating tips with us! Read on to become inspired!
I recently attended the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) conference in Los Angeles where one of the sessions I attended was, “Think Like A Negotiator” by Eldonna Lewis Fernandez. Mrs. Fernandez went over the finer points of negotiating and we did exercises to practice our very out of tune negotiating skills. My biggest takeaway from this session was that everything is negotiable; everything in your personal life, your marriage, your family, your friends, as well as your business.
I know you are probably thinking no it’s not. You can’t negotiate what time your child’s school starts or how much money you have in the bank. What about the rest of your time and life? What else could you possibly negotiate? We write things on our schedule as if they are set in stone and never think that we can negotiate those things to best fit our schedule and needs. Instead we stress out and run around like a chicken with its head…well that’s gross but you know what I mean.
Let me tell you a few of Eldonna’s points I really related to and let’s see how they resonate with you:
You learn how to negotiate through practice and experience.
This was true and evident during our session as we tried to negotiate with each other for signatures using a set amount of money and time. There were people with the giggles, there were hardcore fast negotiators and then there were those of us that did okay but were slow at it, we had a 12 minute time limit.
The best negotiation is when both sides win.
Usually we think of negotiating as a win/lose situation. Where through good negotiation you get the better of someone. It turns out that’s not good at all, because what if you want to do business with that person again?
Many people don’t even try to negotiate because they think they don’t have enough confidence.
That’s where practice and experience come into play. The more you negotiate, the better you will become and the confidence you gain will spill over into other areas of life.
Everything is negotiable.
The best example of this was after our practice exercise was over, Mrs. Fernandez went over what we negotiated for and told us some of the things we could have negotiated for. She asked us why we didn’t try to negotiate with her for more time to collect signatures. That was a huge nugget for me. Everything is negotiable.
Rejection isn’t personal.
Many of us don’t like the feeling of rejection so we simply don’t ask for what we want if we think the answer may be no. What we should be asking is what Mrs. Fernandez said, “If it’s no now, when will it be yes?” If we get another “no” we can request more information. What is the reason they are saying no?
Build relationships first.
When negotiating, it’s important to build relationships first. Successful salespeople will tell you that your customer needs to know, like, and trust you before they’ll buy. It’s important to be prepared with some knowledge of the person to help build the relationship before you begin to negotiate.
You talk too much.
Yes, I know we as women talk too much. We get nervous and ramble on, we feel embarrassed for someone and ramble on, or we simply are by ourselves all day with a small child so when we get the chance to talk to an adult, yes, we ramble on. If you want to negotiate you have to stop talking. It’s called the power of silence. Sort of like when you arguing with someone and each one of you are trying to get the last word, but when the other person stops completely you feel a little powerless, right? That’s the point. At some point you just have to stand your ground and hope the uncomfortable silence speaks for itself.
I hope I have given you some food for thought here. The biggest nuggets I would like for you to walk away with are realizing that most situations are opportunities to negotiate. You can always ask for something different. You must also know your bottom line and be willing to say no if something doesn’t meet your needs. Remember rejection isn’t personal. You’re not intentionally hurting someone’s feelings by saying no. You are simply doing what is best for you!
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I encourage you to make a list right now of ten things you could negotiate.
Now get out there and practice negotiating for what you want!
Please share your thoughts and comments
Let us know how thinking like a negotiator works for you, your life and your business!
To contact Autumn directly, you may find her at http://www.windfallorganizing.com/