The art of negotiating

For many people the thought of negotiating can result in a cold sweat and even contemplating saying anything other than a straight “yes” is simply not an option. But to be a good salesperson or marketer, which is essential in this little game of real estate, you’re going to need to be able to master different sales negotiation skills. Good negotiating skills will prove invaluable not just in business, but in many aspects of your life (especially at those night markets on your next holiday!) and can act as your weapon against difficult customers or vendors. In today’s environment of heightened competition, you need to be a keen negotiator in order to close current deals and secure future ones.


An important step in becoming a great negotiator is learning how to say no. Not just handy in negotiating, but handy in so many aspects of life –shame I haven’t yet mastered it when it comes to being offered more wine or cigarettes. When you’re dealing with customers, saying no can be incredibly difficult, especially when you like the person you’re turning down. It’s often easier to act like you need to consult someone else to make it appear like the decision is actually somewhat out of your hands – like saying “I’ll see what I can do.” This also doesn’t really work when you’re your own boss, as many of us in real estate ultimately are, and if you know that ultimately the answer is going to be no, it’s better to get to saying it sooner rather than later. What did I say about procrastination yesterday? It also applies here. So many lessons, such a small blog! Amazing!


Another important skill to have is the ability to build rapport. In real estate, this is essential. You’re dealing with a highly personal, often highly emotional product and sale, and the people you deal with want to be at ease with you and feel like they can trust you. Even if you have the best commission rate in town, if you rub people the wrong way and pretty much everyone prickles at the sight of you, you may not be doing as much business as if people enjoy your company. When people feel they relate to you, your chances of negotiating are much better, and if you do have to say no as mentioned above, they’ll probably take it a lot better. In a nutshell, learn to be nice.


Part of this is being a good listener, another key skill in negotiating. Lots of people think they’re listening when they’re actually just keeping an ear out for a pause so they can jump in. Listen to and actually hear what your customers are saying. Listening shows respect and amazingly it even tells you what people want and think! As much as real estate agents can have going on in their heads at any given moment, it’s important to focus on a customer, whether a vendor or potential buyer, to help your negotiating prowess and powers. Maintaining eye contact with the person you’re talking to is a very good way to ensure you’re actually listening. Staring off in the distance is highly likely to encourage your mind to wander the same way.

Negotiation skills are an asset to everyone, not just those of us in real estate. And for those of you who are customers, having the ability to negotiate in your own right will pay off in many aspects of your life, not just in regards to securing your dream home.


Posted by Charles Tarbey on 27/08/2009 at 9:00 AM | Categories:



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