Get information about what you want to negotiate on. Don’t go into a negotiation without a clue about what to expect in terms of numbers, price or quantity. Ask questions, check websites, do research, do what you need to do to get the information you need. This helps you determine your �target price’ (the price, number or quantity you are hoping to get out of the negotiation) and walk-away terms before you attempt a negotiation; and thus elevates your level � even if only slightly � on the �negotiation field’.
KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES
This is another factor that influences the determination of your �target price’ and walk-away terms. You need to know your priorities in negotiations � determine what is most important and what you are either willing to compromise or willing not to compromise to �close the deal’; this is very important. It is also important that your priorities remain a well-kept secret known only to you, because the moment the other party gets a clue about what’s more important to you in the negotiation process either by your words or actions, it will be used as leverage against you.
DON’T MAKE THE FIRST OFFER
Let the other party make the first offer, else you risk making an offer worse than what the other would have offered. For example, imagine you are negotiating over the price of a car. You make the first offer at 1.4 million naira from an initial price of 1.6 million naira. But the seller of the car was
going to offer 1.3million naira if he/she had made the first offer.
So, please don’t make the first offer in negotiations. Don’t give away your ground like that. Wait for the other person. If the other person insists you go first, from the information you must have gathered before the negotiation process, make an offer 5-10 percent lower than the least price, number or quantity of the information you gathered beforehand. It is better your first offer is outrageously low than outrageously high.
SILENCE IS GOLDEN
Don’t be too quick to respond to an offer. Give it time. This helps you not to appear desperate and helps you appear flexible.
Sometimes merely remaining silent is all the pressure you need to force the hand of the other party in the negotiation.
KEEP IT LIGHT
You’re making a negotiation not going to war, so please feel free to keep it light. Use humor at certain times to get the other party to relax and thus become a little more flexible. If you do not consider yourself a funny person, simply smile and occasionally laugh lightly at prices, numbers or quantities you consider outrageous or too much. Besides, if you are not too serious with the negotiation process, you won’t appear desperate to the other party.