What are the common mistakes to be avoided in negotiation?

  1. Don’t say too much and give away your position. Ration your words and never offer TMI (Too Much Information). Don’t go too fast. Be deliberate and take time to think.

2. It’s well-known advice that “he who talks first” loses in negotiation. This isn’t 100% true. It would be more accurate to say:

He/she who talks too much, loses.

Discovery is of upmost importance in negotiating. You can’t learn their needs if you’re blabbing about yourself. Instead, you need to ask pointed, direct questions, and pay close attention to their response.

Here’s an example:

Them: Your price is too high.

You: What do you typically pay for this?

Them: $3,000, which is why we can’t do your $4,000.

You: What do you usually get with that?

Them: A six-month guarantee and discounted support services.

You: How important is that support to you?

Them: Very. It’s helped us get through some challenging situations.

You: I see. Our product comes with a 2-year guarantee and free support. Would you say that support is worth the extra $1,000?

Them: Maybe not that much. We only spend $750 on it now.

You: I could work with that, though we might have to bring down the guarantee period.

Them: Sounds reasonable.

By asking a series of questions, and really listening to their response, you can figure out what’s really going on. This information is vital to creating a solution that works for both parties.

3. Depends on what the negotiation is for and what the setting is but I’ll give a couple examples in hopes of one of these being a situation you might be in eventually so my answer is helpful.

If you are at a pawn shop and the associate asked you how much you want at the most for the item your pawning/selling say an amount that’s higher then what you really want in case they think that amount is reasonable. I pawned something before and was asked how much I thought would be a good amount of money for me to receive for it beforehand and I said $30 when I really thought the most I could get for it would be $10-$15 and they gave me $30 for it without hesitation. People often ask for too little instead of too much and end up getting money that isn’t close to the actual value of the product.

When you make plans with someone and have to figure out which one of you are paying for what expenses for those plans a lot of people sometimes will offer to pay for both things and something that is far less then what the other person is paying for. My advice for people when trying to make plans and figure out who’s paying for what expenses is either divide up the total cost of the expenses by half and each pay almost the same amount of money if not the same or just commit to paying for an expense or expenses that is as close in price to the other expense of expenses the other person would be left to pay for.

  • Talking too much. Or at all. The best way to win, is to shut your mouth and listen. And say as little as you can. “Loose lips sink ships”. The person talking the most will tell you exactly how to close them and what they want. The more you talk, the more ammunition you give the other side.

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