What not to say when negotiating

A businesswoman with crossed arms. She's holding a red card.

Avoid the red card. Learn what not to say when negotiating. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/gcoldironjr2003/Flickr)

Negotiation is an inevitable – and sometimes entertaining – part of life. This includes your financial dealings. Whether you’re negotiating salary, vacation days, a loan rate, sale price or anything else, it pays to not only know how to negotiate, but what not to say when negotiating. Avoid these deal killers and show off that silver tongue of yours.

Have information on your side

Prepare yourself before entering into any negotiation. That way, you’ll never have to admit that you haven’t done your research, or conceal the truth yet resign yourself to the fact that if the opposing party knows their stuff, you’re at a distinct disadvantage. Knowledge is power.

Don’t bother with range

An all-too-common negotiating tactic when a sales price is involved is for the seller to provide a price range. No buyer is going to choose the upper end of any sales price range a seller presents. A seller is wasting their wasting their breath and cutting themselves off at the metaphorical knees if they use this tactic. Simply present the high number that is barely reasonable and be prepared for negotiations.

Uncertainty is for wussies

Whenever a negotiating party says “how about” something, they’re operating from a position of weakness and uncertainty. They’re literally asking for the other party’s approval. Make a decisive offer – as in “I’ll give you $100” – and wait for the reply. Do not cave in or use weak language and do not passively phrase your offer in the form of a question. It is implied that negotiation is part of the art of the deal. Rarely is any offer permanent and immutable.

Swoop in

Here’s a negotiation killer if ever there was one. If you’re negotiating something that is relatively small in scope – something smaller than a salary or sale price on a home or car, for instance – don’t bail out. Be prepared to snatch the best deal right there, on the spot. It’s a “you snooze, you lose” proposition. If you have to step back and say “let me get back to you,” the deal will be gone before you make your way back to the table.

The empty wallet insult

When it comes time to talk sales turkey, the serious negotiator has resources at the ready. If you step up to the negotiation table and work them over for half and hour before revealing that you don’t have any cash on you, they you’ve not only wasted your own time and theirs, but you’ve insulted the other party. You may be interested but too afraid to seal the deal, or you may be poor and will never actually have the resources to close. The right thing to do is carry cash or the accepted equivalent if you’re planning to buy.

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