5 Underused Negotiation Strategies

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I recently posted about overused negotiation techniques. Today I want to take the opposite approach and highlight some underused negotiation techniques that should be incorporated more often while making a purchase.

When you're done reading, please comment and identify any negotiation techniques that you believe are underused.

1. The Semi-Low Ball Offer.

Too often, people's first act in buying a negotiable item is to start with a low-ball offer. These insultingly lowball offers immediately paint you as unreasonable. They also may personally offend the pride of the seller. Although more finesse is involved, it's more effective to begin with a slightly higher offer. The goal is to create a middle ground that favors your price points.

2. Speaking Highly of the Product or Service.

Again, in many situations sellers are judging you just as you are judging them. Almost everyone takes some pride in their company or product, and this is particularly true when the seller is also the business owner. Although part of negotiating may involve addressing honest reasons why you may not want to complete a purchase, negative commentary regarding the product may hurt the seller's feelings–and also your bottom line.

3. Dressing Down- Literally and Figuratively.

Generally speaking, salespeople want to get you for every dollar they can. It's nothing personal, it's just part of their job description. If they think you have money, then they may be more inclined to pursue an aggressive price point. I've heard of car salesman looking at the size of a woman's engagement ring.  Why do you think that is?  Consciously or unconsciously, the seller is studying you and trying to figure out your budget.

Generally, people want to help people they like. If you come across as “stuck up” that may hurt you in getting the deal you desire. If you come across as “well to do” then that too may hurt you as well. Negotiation is all about attitude. I'm not suggesting you walk into the sales floor in rags, merely that you may benefit from toning it down.

4. Starting Over.

If you're not happy with the salesperson or the price points, then walk away. Not as a tactic to get them to cave, but to simply find another seller.  Go to one of their many competitors (online or brick and mortar). Patience is your friend in finding the best quality at the best price in a negotiation.

Another technique you may wish to try is simply leaving your number. Again, this is not to be confused with the traditional threat to leave. Rather, say you like the product, but not the price; and if the price is ever comes down, that you would appreciate a call from the salesperson.

5. Systematically Decreasing Each Counteroffer.

This is a simple but effective method for a large purchase such as a house. Start the negotiation with a set starting price and foreknowledge of what your next two offers will be. Make sure the increased amount of each offer is smaller than the one before. This will signify to the seller that you're digging in your heals. If you have done your research and the person will not give in at the end of this system, then you should consider walking. For example, your starting bid on a house may be $240,000. Your next offer could be $250,000 and your final bid could then be $255,000.00. Tell the seller that this offer is final. You might be surprised by how effective this simple technique is for securing a great price on a large item you really wish to purchase.

Do you agree with the underused negotiation techniques listed here? What negotiation techniques do you think are underused?

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