7 High Impact Negotiating Techniques
Recently, I attended a speaker’s convention on rather late notice. I arrived one day after the convention started without a hotel reservation. I tend to become very parsimonious towards my expenses. I try to negotiate the best deals. Surveying the convention site, I selected my target. Using these seven techniques, I was able to stay at this hotel for less than half of what other attendees paid. These same techniques can easily be applied when a client attempts to negotiate with you.
1. Always attempt to negotiate from a position of power. From the hotel across the street, I called the manager of the targeted hotel. I explained that I was checking prices, and I wanted to know if she would beat the rate I was quoted. She said yes. Moral: If you show clients that you are weak, they will continue to beat you down on rate.
2. Always negotiate like you care, but not that much. She gave me a rate, and I responded that it was too high. I told her that I would go back to the other hotel. Moral: If you are too enthusiastic, the client may think they got swindled.
3. Never be afraid to walk. She then asked me what rate range I needed. I told her, and she said that she was not prepared to accept that price. I thanked her for her time. At that point she said that she would be willing to accept that price for a second night of my two-night stay. I would need to pay the regular rate for the last night. I said we were getting close, and I put by billfold back in my pocket. Moral: If you are willing to walk, it shows you stand firmly behind your product and your rate.
4. Determine your client’s interests. I knew because of low registration (homework before the call) that the hotel had rooms available. Most of us do not take the time to learn the true motives of the people with whom we negotiate. By listening and looking at the client’s body language, you can also find clues to the client’s real issues. Her look of dejection after my third “thanks for your time,” told me she would be willing to knock down a few more dollars. Moral: A prepared sales call gives you confidence.
5. Be ready to offer options. She asked what I thought was reasonable. I told her the second night was fine, but that I wanted a two-digit first night rate. If she was able to do meet that price, I told her that I would use the hotel for all of my meals. She agreed to the terms, 40 percent off the daily rate for the first night, and 60 percent off the daily rate for the second night. Moral: You might need to work out a payment plan more beneficial to the client, or attempt to place them in a better position on rotation of ads. Flexibility without compromising the price can be achieved. Do not deprive the client of an opportunity to access your readers/viewers/listeners.
6. There is always room for a little more. I said I had to walk across the street and pick up my things. Walking across the street would make me late for a conference call. Maybe it was better if I stayed across the street. She said, “I’ll throw in a free dinner coupon to the restaurant if it is too much of an inconvenience.” I thanked her, told her I appreciated her persistence, and we consummated the agreement. Moral: Why not bring up a sponsorship or feature if the client bites?
7. Make sure you can deliver the goods once you agree. Your credit card should clear. In my case, my card had expired unbeknownst to me. Moral: Make sure your schedules and placement run as ordered.
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.