Negotiating a Win -Win
What does negotiation mean to you? Gerald L. Nierenberg, president of
Negotiation Institute in New York City says that the definition of
negotiation is, "Whenever people exchange ideas with the intention of
changing relationships, and confer for agreement, they are negotiating."
Webster's Dictionary says that negotiation is "An interaction of
influences." I do know that negotiation is a critical skill to survive and
thrive in business and in life...especially in the mortgage business. You
won't always achieve what you ask for, but you will achieve what you
If you research the books on negotiation, you'll find that there are several
strategies and tactics that vary depending upon what you are negotiating.
I'm going to give you four rules that I believe are the most critical to
develop great negotiation skills.
* Seek a balanced win/win scenario as much as possible. If you have an "I
win-you lose" scenario, it defeats the purpose of building long-term
business relationships. In addition, a perfect "I win-you win" is not only
rare, but unrealistic. For example, somebody always receives less than what
they've asked for in any negotiation. I call this "balanced negotiation"
because true success in any negotiation can only be achieved if both parties
receive a high percentage of what they were seeking. In order to do this,
you must be very clear on what you want out of the gate and communicate
accordingly. Many people negotiate without thinking through their desired
* Have a positive attitude toward achieving your goal while helping your
counterpart achieve something close to theirs. This might look something
like a "WIN/win." There is always one side that didn't quite get 100 percent
of what they were seeking. This is where your belief and certainty play a
role. I have learned that it's really easy to obtain certainty...you merely
decide to have it. Make the decision to embrace a strong conviction in what
you have to offer in a particular negotiation. This conviction must be so
strong that nobody who truly "gets it" will ever say no to you.
* Make sure that your communications and the words that come out of your
mouth are fully aligned with your behavior throughout the entire negotiation
process. The basic negotiation process includes planning, research,
listening skills, objectivity and long-term thinking. All of the
communication points must be congruent with what you want to achieve in any
negotiation outcome. Your counterpart will have a lot of respect for you,
and be more apt to concede issues if you do what you say. On the other hand,
if you don't do what you say, they won't respect you and this will weaken
your negotiation position. It's important to always negotiate from a
position of power and strength if you're going to have a shot at getting 80
percent, 90 percent or 100 percent of what you want.
* Embrace a long-term mindset toward the negotiation process and potential
results. There are many tips to help achieve this:
1. Bond first, bargain second.
2. Focus on the relationship (creating a partnership), not the win.
3. Always indicate that your goal is a good relationship.
4. Show dignity and respect throughout the process.
5. Ask questions with a question to avoid giving away information
6. Listen twice as much as you talk.
7. If negotiations start breaking down, agree to disagree, and then build
on other agreements.
8. Negotiate early and be proactive.
9. Remember that reciprocity is crucial.
10. Keep everyone involved informed.
11. Try not to make the first offer (this gives you more control).
12. Don't give-in entirely.
13. Avoid ultimatums.
14. Make it easy for your counterpart to agree (you do this by
understanding their side and merging small points).
15. Assume everything is negotiable.
16. Establish your walk-away point (when you might conclude that a co-op
marketing arrangement with a Realtor just won't work).
17. Always negotiate from strength.
18. Put what you have agreed upon in writing.